Prime Minister Theresa May’s message to the community:

“As Jewish families around the world gather to light the first candle on their Chanukah, I want to wish everyone celebrating this festival of light a very happy and peaceful Chanukah.

“As we confront the horrors of growing anti-Semitism and the appalling hate fuelled terrorist attacks that we have seen across Europe, so the themes of freedom and liberty at the heart of the Chanukah story remain as relevant as ever. For just as the Maccabees resisted oppression and kept their faith, to be rewarded by the miracle of a light that burnt for eight nights, so too must we today have the courage to stand up for our values and hold sacred our way of life.

“For as long as I am Prime Minister I want you to know that I will stand alongside you and passionately defend your right to practice your faith, free from question or fear. I will do everything I can to keep you and your families safe and to fight the divisive prejudice and extremist ideology that lies at the heart of anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred. And I will celebrate proudly the extraordinary contribution that our Jewish communities make to our country, for as I have said before, Britain would simply not be Britain without its Jews.

“So as our Jewish communities come together for this special time, let us take confidence and pride in our values and in doing so let us draw hope from the Chanukah message that light will always overcome darkness and that joy and peace will always overcome hatred.

“Chanukah Sameach.”

Theresa May

Theresa May

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s Chanukah message:

Happy Chanukah to everyone who is celebrating here in London and around the world.

Chanukah is a joyous time of year – but we must always remember that Chanukah celebrates freedom from religious oppression. It is a timeless story that has given hope for over 2,000 years to Jewish people, and to many others.

It resonates with me. And I know it resonates with many other Londoners too – no matter what faith they practice or beliefs they hold dear.

Because it’s the message that, regardless of the odds, it’s possible that when we work together we can ensure light triumphs over darkness.

It was an honour for me to have held a Chanukah reception at City Hall earlier this month, in partnership with the London Jewish Forum.

As I look back on what has been a huge year for me personally, I’m reminded of – and very grateful for – the warmth and best wishes extended to me by the Jewish community.

The contribution and success of the Jewish community in the capital is a shining example of London at its best, and shows what can be achieved when London is open – open to all cultures and open to people from all backgrounds.

I am proud that London is a city where Jewish people, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and those who are not members of an organised faith – don’t simply tolerate each other, but respect, embrace and celebrate each other.

From my family to yours – happy Chanukah.

Chanukah Sameach!

Labour mayor Sadiq Khan

London Mayor Sadiq Khan

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s Chanukah message:

“As we approach the Festival of Lights, I want to send my best wishes to all celebrating Chanukah. This is a time for family, reflection and hope.

“As the sacrifices of the Maccabees remind us, light can shine through even in the darkest of moments. The UK continues to stand with the State of Israel, and I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to Jewish communities in the pursuit of peace and security across the world.

“The UK will pursue the fight against antisemitism, and we remain committed to defeating it wherever it is found. I am clear that there is no such place for hatred in our society.

“Together, we can build a brighter future. Chag Sameach, and I wish everyone a very happy and peaceful holiday.”

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson