MPs get into festive spirit by revealing Christmas card designs
There may not have been much festive goodwill going around the Houses of Parliament lately, but MPs have attempted to cast any feelings of ‘bah humbug’ aside with a colourful array of Christmas cards.
Prime Minister Theresa May will be happier than most to bid 2018 farewell, and she has taken the traditional route with her card – running a contest among local school children in her constituency.
Mrs May’s design, featuring a snowman and a Christmas tree, was drawn by nine-year-old Dexter Van Elkan and was hand-picked by the Prime Minister and her husband Philip from competition entries in Maidenhead.
There was no competition this year for Jeremy Corbyn, whose grumpy demeanour in the Commons lately has led some to suggest he is doing a mean impression of Scrooge.
The opposition leader’s card features a pic of his cat, El Gato, curled up in front of a roaring fire in his living room.
Mr Corbyn's deputy, Tom Watson, the MP for West Bromwich East, raised a few chuckles with his card, which features the message: "Thanks for brightening my Brexit year. Have a good Christmas."
Eleanor Smith's card features a very festive looking image of Wolverhampton city centre, complete with a Christmas tree. It was drawn by Year 6 pupil Lennie Brown, of St Michaels C of E Primary School, Tettenhall.
The Wolverhampton South West MP said: “I have been so impressed by the creativity, imagination, and effort the children have shown. It was a hard task to judge the winners but a very pleasant one.
"The different visual interpretations of what Christmas means are fantastic, but Lennie’s design stood out because he had so clearly promoted Wolverhampton, and made his Christmas about the city.”
The runners up were: Khadija Mongia, from St Andrew’s C of E Primary School; Maryam Saffawee, from Bantock Primary School; Mason Miller, from Tettenhall Wood School; and Julia Sowinska - SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary Academy and Nursery.
Wolverhampton North East MP Emma Reynolds' card features Santa taking a well earned break with a cup of hot tea.
It was drawn by Destiny Edwards, 10, from Wodensfield Primary School. Ms Reynolds said it got more and more difficult each year to pick a winner of her Christmas card contest.
“Twelve schools took part this year and, out of all of those entries, it was Destiny’s design that caught my eye," Ms Reynolds said.
"The design features Santa and it was the detail on Santa’s face which really set it apart from the other entries, and is one which I’m sure will bring a smile to people’s faces when they open the envelope.
“I’d like to thank all the schools who took part in this year’s competition, and hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas."
Harkaran 'Harry' Sandhu, 5, from Rugeley’s Chancel Primary School won Cannock Chase MP Amanda Milling's competition with an image of footprints in the snow.
The MP said: "Harry’s design was very unique and was particularly well suited to Cannock Chase!"
Runners up were Drew Turner, 9, from St Luke’s Primary School; and Amelie Raxworthy-Cooper, 9, from West Hill Primary School.
Year 2 pupil Brayden Simpson, from Rowley Hall Primary School, beat over 700 entries from schools across Halesowen & Rowley Regis to win the contest organised by Tory MP James Morris.
Mr Morris said: "I am always impressed with the quality and variety of entries. Well done to Brayden and to the runners-up, as well as to everybody who sent in such fantastic entries, and a big thank you to all of the teachers and staff who encouraged their classes to take part."
West Bromwich West MP Adrian Bailey's card was designed by 9-year-old Siena Moore from Summerhill Primary Academy in Tipton.
Mr Bailey said, “Every year the standard of entries is rising. This competition enables all our local primary schools to showcase their local creativity as well as providing an extremely exciting educational challenge.
"Clearly that has been achieved and I congratulate Siena and everyone who took part, together with their teachers who put so much time and effort into the competition.”
All entries for Mr Bailey's competition are on display in Tipton library.
Dudley North MP Ian Austin's card features a photograph of the statue of Second World War hero Frank Foley, which was unveiled this year in Mary Steven’s Park by The Duke of Cambridge.
Mr Austin said: "I worked with members of Major Foley’s family, local residents, the Holocaust Educational Trust and Dudley Council to produce this tribute to a great local hero and I wanted to celebrate what we had all achieved.
“Frank Foley is an inspiration to us all, a great British hero and I very much hope the card will teach even more people about his legacy - and come to Stourbridge to see our tribute as well.”
The same park also features in Stourbridge MP Margot James' card, a Michael Blamire-Brown photograph depicting a winter scene.
Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant's card shows a painting of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben on a wet night, while Eddie Hughes ran a competition in local schools that was won by Josphine Sherlock, 10, from St Peter's Catholic Primary in Walsall.
Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden's card features an image of Santa preparing to drop his gifts off in the city. It was drawn by 10-year-old Ashmeet Kaur from Goldthorn Park Primary School.
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