BRITISH people should ignore "politically correct" critics and put Christ back into their Christmas celebrations, according to the head of Britain's equality watchdog.
Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said stories about issues such as school Nativity plays being banned or altered to change their Christian meaning have an "underlying agenda" to "fuel community tension".
The comments come after a poll suggested that only one in five primary schools was planning to hold a Nativity play this winter.
At a conference on diversity yesterday, Mr Phillips asked leaders in different religious communities to "join me in saying 'it's time to stop being daft about Christmas'."
He said it was fine to celebrate and "for Christ to be the star of the show".
Schools which deliberately shied away from the story of Christmas were "just plain wrong" and were "robbing their children of really being part of what it is to be British," he said.
Cllr Paul Crofts, who represents the Castle ward in Wellingborough, said: "I want people to have more fun together, live and learn from one another – not to hate or fear the 'other'. It's a debate that comes up every year.
"I think, as a society, we should also acknowledge and recognise that other faiths have their own festivals but that takes nothing away from celebrations of Christmas."