‘Things look bleak, but there is hope’: Party leaders mark Christmas 2020
First Minister and Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford
This year has been a difficult one for all of us.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected everybody’s life.
Plans have been turned upside down and far too many families are having to deal with the loss of a loved one. My thoughts are with every single one of you.
The pandemic has taken another turn for the worse.
A new, highly-infectious strain of the virus has been identified.
It is here in Wales and spreading quickly.
We have had to make some tough decisions and ask everyone to once again stay at home to save lives.
The situation in Wales is very serious.
This is not the way we hoped to spend Christmas.
For many families who won’t be able to see each other this year, this will seem incredibly difficult.
Right across the country, difficult phone calls are being made. There will be sadness. But, it is the right thing to do.
This is a cruel virus. It challenges every one of us because it thrives on our normal human behaviour.
Together we have endured so much this year.
But throughout this year, our generosity, kindness and community spirit has shone through.
This Christmas, more than any other, let’s reach out to those we know are alone, or bereaved, or worried about the future.
I want to say a few words of thanks to our critical workers – to our incredible NHS, our carers, shop workers and the many, many others – who have worked so hard this year and done so much to keep this country moving throughout the pandemic.
They will once again this Christmas, shoulder the responsibility as the majority stay home.
On behalf of the whole of Wales, I thank you.
I know things look bleak at the moment, but there is hope.
More people are being vaccinated every day and we hope there’s another vaccine around the corner.
Please, stay safe. Take care of one another. Have a peaceful Christmas. Nadolig Llawen.
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price
This year has been a year like no other. A difficult year. One of loneliness. Selflessness. Sacrifice. And we’ve all lost so much.
This year has also shone a light on the inequalities at the heart of our society. We have not all been in this together in the same way, equally.
2020 has also taught us the true meaning of key workers. It is their selflessness and sacrifice which has shone a light at the end of the tunnel.
We go to a time traditionally spent with loved ones. But this year many of us will not be able to do so.
And whilst 2020 may have been the year of lockdowns, together, we can make 2021 the year of locking in hope.
A year where we, together, will make true the pledge to care for everyone in our society – from cradle to grave, where we decide to make Wales an equal nation and a nation of equals.
I cannot recall a year like this one but hope springs eternal and together, next year, we will recover, rebuild and create a fairer future for all.
I wish you all a happy and safe Christmas.
Welsh Conservative leader Paul Davies
The message of Christmas is one of hope.
After the experiences of this year, I know many of us will have a new understanding of what that word means.
Hope that, whether in person or digitally, we can get together with family and friends to celebrate what should be a joyful time of year.
Hope for a better future for our family and friends who have been affected by the pandemic, especially those who have suffered ill health or from the devastating economic impact that it has caused.
Hope that we maintain our strengthened community spirit into the new year that has helped the most vulnerable in our communities throughout this year.
For me Christmas is a time to see my family and to put politics to one side. I know many people use this time of year for reflection. This year many people will be reflecting on the loss of loved ones, having to adjust to a new way of being without them. My heart goes out to everyone this Christmas who are going through this suffering.
Christmas is also a time of thanks, for those who have cared for us, to those who have put us above themselves. I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all those in front line public services who have faced the challenges of the past year with courage, dedication and passion.
Together our amazing NHS staff, care workers, Armed Forces personnel, council staff and the army of volunteers have been through more than any of us can imagine and we owe them a debt of gratitude that can’t be repaid.
I hope that for many people Christmas can renew our hope and that together we can look forward to a more positive future.
Whatever Christmas holds for you and your families, I hope it is one where there can be joy, and I wish you all a very Happy Christmas. Nadolig Llawen i chi i gyd.