It’s come to this [correction: old story]

Labour peer Lord Ahmed, one of the country’s most prominent Moslem politicians, said: ‘It is stupid to think Moslems would be offended.

‘The Moslem community has been talking to Christians for the past 1,400 years. The teachings from Islam are that you should respect other faiths.’

He added: ‘In my business all my staff celebrate Christmas and I celebrate with them. It is absolutely not the case that Christmas could damage the Red Cross reputation for neutrality – I think their people have gone a little bit over the top.’

The furore is a fresh blow to the image of what was once one of Britain’s most respected charities.