I would like to wish all those gathering with family, friends and loved ones a happy and peaceful Chanukah.

The festival of light is a good time to remind ourselves of the immeasurable contribution the Jewish community have made to every aspect of British life, helping to create the tolerant society and open democracy of which we are all so proud. Which is why I agree with the Prime Minister that Britain would not be the same without its Jewish community.

At the heart of this special festival are the values of freedom and liberty. Values which we, the Conservative party, are committed to protecting here and across the globe.

In the last 12 months we have seen a worrying rise in violent terrorist attacks on our society, our way of life.

I am hugely proud of the way the people of Manchester, London and the whole country have reacted in the face of these assaults on what goes to the very heart of what defines us as a nation.

We saw tremendous heroism from those members of our emergency services who run towards the danger while most would run away.

We saw communities come together and we have shown that that we will never let the hate filled words of a few drown out our strong British voices of tolerance.

I am clear, we are an open and tolerant nation, and hatred has no place in our country or our society.

We must have the courage to stand up for what we believe in and defend our way of life and not bend our knee to the intolerant.

We have consistently stood alongside those attacked by all forms of hate crime for we are the sum of our parts and an attack on any section of our society is an attack on us all.

We are an open and tolerant country and party.

Hatred has no place whatsoever here.

Britain is a nation with a proud history and a bright future and it is incumbent on all of us not to let the hateful words of the few drown out the many, many British voices of tolerance.

This miracle in the Chanukah story reminds us that there can be light even during the darkest times and these values of freedom and tolerance must remain at the forefront of our collective consciousness at this time of progress.

Chanukah Sameach