'Royal Mail has taken Christ out of Christmas'

Royal Mail's decision to issue a secular-themed series of stamps to mark Christmas has been blasted by Enfield Southgate MP, David Burrowes.

This year's seasonal series of stamps depicts four images of a snowman, a fir tree, a reindeer and Santa Claus. The designs that have infruriated practising Christian, Mr Burrowes, were created by a Japanese illustrator, Tatsuro Kuichi.

Mr Burrowes decried the move he sees as an affront to Christians when he took part in Vanessa Feltz's morning talk show on BBC London radio yesterday.

He said: "It's strange how a country with a Christian heritage does not celebrate Christmas in a straightforward way."

The Royal Mail varies the themes of its festive stamps annually, and last year used religious motifs. It refuted any accusations that it was bowing to political correctness and claimed that the stamps merely reflect a different side of Christmas.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: "Any accusations that this was done for politically correct reasons are nonsense. Next year may see Christian images back on the stamps."

Since 1966, there have been 18 secular and 22 religious Yuletide stamp series issued by the Royal Mail. Last year, more than 250million Christamas stamps were sold during the busiest time for the postal service.

The designs are chosen by a stamp advisory committee made up of people from different walks of life. They convene to make a decision which is then ratified or rejected by the Queen.

David Burrowes was unappeased. He said: "Hindus in my constituency are always asking me why we do not celebrate Christmas. It is about celebrating the birth of Christ and the Royal Mail should do likewise."

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