Staffordshire Christmas tree lights up Downing Street

Rishi Sunak with the Staffordshire tree. Credit: @10DowningStreet / Twitter

The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has continued an annual tradition of placing a Christmas tree outside No10 Downing Street ahead of the festive season.

This year, according to his office, the tree picked was from a farmer based in Staffordshire, and the PM was joined by his wife Akshata Murthy and refugees from the war in Ukraine.

As well as Ukrainian refugees, the PM invited soldiers from Catterick Garrison in Yorkshire, and Point of Light award winners.

He later listened to carols sung by schoolchildren from Millbank Academy, and the central band of the Royal Air Force.

He said, "I'm delighted to welcome our friends from Ukraine, who have chosen to make the UK their home during Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine, to join in our Christmas tradition of lighting the Downing Street tree this year."

"Sentiments of hope are never stronger than during the festive season and no one has displayed this more this year than the people of Ukraine in their fight for freedom. 

"We continue to stand wholeheartedly behind Ukraine in this fight."

The tradition of placing a tree outside Downing Street began in 1982, when Margaret Thatcher was in office.