Christianity's values 'are British values', says Prime Minister

(Photo: Unsplash/Ricardo Frantz)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has used his Easter message to praise Christianity and the "considerable contribution" of Christians to national life.

Mr Sunak, Britain's first Hindu prime minister, said that Christianity's values of "tolerance, compassion and charity" were "embedded" in Britain's history and "national fabric".

He added that these values were "British values". 

"Easter Sunday gives us a chance to reflect on the considerable contribution Christian communities make to our national life – offering support and a sense of belonging to so many across the country," he said. 

"Christianity and its values of tolerance, compassion and charity are embedded in our history and national fabric. Its values are British values.

"I would like to wish all those celebrating today a very happy Easter." 

Leader of the opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, thanked churches for providing "unity and hope" in a tweet that was shared alongside a video of himself meeting with church leaders. 

He wrote, "Churches across Britain support their community, providing a sense of unity and hope, particularly when times are tough.

"At this time of optimism and new beginnings, I thank them for everything they do, and wish you all a very Happy Easter."

The importance of Christianity to Britain was debated in Westminster a few weeks ago when Nick Fletcher, Conservative MP for Don Valley, suggested that the country should be more "proud" of its heritage.

"Some want to rewrite history, but everywhere we look, we see our Christian heritage, and nowhere more than in this place," he said.

"It matters to our national life, it is the air we breathe. Although many deride and want to misrepresent it, the reality is that it has been a source of great benefit.

"Much of what makes Britain great stems from this heritage, and many others from around the world recognise that, so why don't we?

"We should be proud of our Christian history and our Christian values. It would be a constitutional disaster to try and erase it, but even worse, it would be a spiritual disaster."