Starmer was joined by Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves and shadow minister for International Development Lisa Nandy at the event…reports Asian Lite News
Expressing his gratitude to the Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities in the UK, opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer joined top members of the British Indian community, including Indian High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami, to celebrate Diwali.
In the event hosted on Tuesday by the British Asian Trust, a charity founded by The King in 2007, Starmer lit the symbolic ‘diya’ and also addressed the Indian diaspora.
“In dark times such as these, it is more important than ever that we focus on a positive future in which we work together across communities and faiths. Only by doing so will we ensure that everyone, no matter their background, has an opportunity for a peaceful, fulfilled and happy life,” Starmer said.
“Tonight I reiterate my gratitude to the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain communities for the enormous contribution they make to this great country of ours. Your positive impact is felt across so many spheres and sectors, and that your contribution is pursued in accordance with your spiritual convictions, reflects the powerful message of Diwali.”
Starmer was joined by Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves and shadow minister for International Development Lisa Nandy at the event.
The event highlighted some of the British Asian Trust’s achievements, including a major mental health programme across South Asia and the launch of a $50 million Child Opportunity Fund set up to give millions of children better opportunities for the future.
Chair of the British Asian Trust, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, said that the community is “delighted to celebrate Diwali with Sir Keir Starmer and we hope this helps us to shine a light on the important work we do across South Asia”.
In June this year, Starmer had emphasised the importance of “modern India” and said that “a strategic partnership with India will be key” to a future Labour government.
The Labour party has had an uncomfortable relationship with India after the party under Jeremy Corbyn unanimously passed a motion on Kashmir at the 2019 Labour conference.
But speaking on June 26 at the India Global Forum’s UK-India Week 2023, Starmer said he hoped to visit India soon and was “resetting the relationship”, and that “this is a changed Labour party”.