Theresa May has used her Easter message to suggest people are “coming together and uniting” following divisions over the Brexit referendum.
The Prime Minister stressed the opportunities for the country as it leaves the European Union and said the shared values of Britons “can – and must – bring us together”.
May, the daughter of a vicar, said the UK should be “confident” about Christianity’s role and stand up for people’s freedom to speak about their faith.
She said: “There is a sense that people are coming together and uniting behind the opportunities that lie ahead. For at heart, this country is one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future.”
Turning to faith, she said: “We should be confident about the role Christianity has to play in the lives of people in our country.
“And we should treasure the strong tradition we have of religious tolerance and freedom of speech.
“We must continue to ensure that people feel able to speak about their faith, and that absolutely includes their faith in Christ.
“We must be mindful of Christians and religious minorities around the world who do not enjoy these same freedoms, but who practise their religion in secret and often in fear.
“And we must do more to stand up for the freedom of people of all religions to practise their beliefs openly and in peace and safety.”
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, in his message, highlighted Mrs May’s intervention in the row over the National Trust and its Cadbury Easter egg hunt. He said: “I fear that what the Prime Minster and others were actually getting wound up about was the thought that the National Trust might have been airbrushing out something comfortable and traditional.
“And given that we are turning the clock back to the early 1970s with Brexit… then nostalgia is most definitely the mood of the moment.”
He added: “Nostalgia and nationalism have become the fuel for an aggressive and irrational brand of politics that is the opposite of what liberals stand for.
“The Easter message