Santa Claus’s contribution to Christmas should be recognised annually in the UK Parliament, MPs have suggested.
The SNP’s Owen Thompson said it was a “really lovely tradition” for the lower house of the Irish Parliament – the Dail – to confirm Santa has permission to enter Irish airspace for Christmas.
In a parliamentary motion in Westminster, Thompson noted that the Civil Aviation Authority “does not make a similar gesture” in the UK.
His motion, signed by nine SNP colleagues, also said the House of Commons calls on the UK Government to “acknowledge the contribution of the idea of Santa Claus to Christmas”.
Thompson, MP for Midlothian, told the PA news agency: “I had seen the statement made by Leo Varadkar in Dail and though it was a really lovely tradition.
“This led me to wonder how I might look to have a similar statement made in the UK Parliament.
“With so much division and anger in politics these days it’s nice to be able to sometimes bring a lighter touch, which I’d hope everyone would take in the spirit it’s intended.”
In a nod to the UK Government’s stalled Rwanda asylum plan, he joked: “Hopefully a move like this would also ensure no attempts from the Tory right to divert Santa’s sleigh to Rwanda.”
Early day motions (EDMs) allow MPs to express an opinion, publicise a cause or support a position. It is rare for EDMs to be debated.
The full text of Thompson’s Santa Claus EDM states: “That this House notes that an annual statement is read out in the Dail to welcome Santa Claus into Irish air space; further notes that the Civil Aviation Authority does not make a similar gesture; recognises the importance of Santa Claus to children; and calls on the Government to acknowledge the contribution of the idea of Santa Claus to Christmas.”
Elsewhere in Parliament, Tory MP Nick Fletcher said he wanted to celebrate the “wonderful gift of forgiveness” of the Christmas season by forgiving his social media trolls.
The Don Valley MP, speaking during a Westminster Hall debate on Christmas, Christianity and communities, said: “This place can make you look like a villain even when you are not, but if I apologise here and now, hopefully you can all forgive me.
“I say now that I have already forgiven those who have wronged me, especially those on social media. They call me the most awful things, but trust me, I forgive them all.”
During the same debate, MPs shared their recommendations for Christmas movies, with communities minster Simon Hoare recommending the 2003 Will Ferrell comedy Elf.
Quoting a line from the film, he added: “My daughters tested me. They challenged me to see whether I could read into the record ‘You sit on a throne of lies’.
“Well, there we are. I have just done so.”
Lib Dem MP Tim Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale) said he knew the “entire script” for Home Alone and Home Alone 2, but described later sequels as “abominations”.
Meanwhile, DUP MP Jim Shannon claimed It’s A Wonderful Life was the “best Christmas film ever”.
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