Politics of festive cards

Rachael Hamilton and John Lamont with  Alfie, last year's Christmas card competition winner, receiving his prize with his school friends is attached.
Rachael Hamilton and John Lamont with Alfie, last year's Christmas card competition winner, receiving his prize with his school friends is attached.

A Christmas card competition for Borders schoolchildren seems to have lost its festive spirit.

Conservative politicians, MP John Lamont and MSP Rachael Hamilton have labelled a Scottish Borders Council offical “Christmas hating” because they have stopped pupils submitting their designs for the party’s annual Christmas card competition - the winning design appearing on the Christmas cards sent out by Mr Lamont and Ms Hamilton.

Responding to the accusation, a Christmas-loving Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “We have taken a decision to allow our school children to enter competitions like this but we ask that they have the consent of their parents or guardians. This is in response to some previous concerns raised with us about the involvement of pupils in competitions organised by politicians.

“We welcome communication with any of the area’s local politicians and would be happy to discuss this further with John Lamont.”

Mr Lamont has run the competition, which has had prizes such as mountain bikes and digital cameras, for the past 12 years and he said: ““Running my annual Christmas Card competition is a highlight of my year – it’s always great to see the look on the face of the winner when they get their new bike, electric scooter or favourite toy.

“I’m not sure what objection someone has taken to this competition. Perhaps the fairies and elves can sprinkle some Christmas cheer over the bah-humbug official.”