As-salamu alaykum, 

Greetings all.  

As mayor, It is a great pleasure, to host you all in Lambeth Town Hall during the holy month of Ramadan.  

As you can imagine, I’ve been to many Iftar dinners, in recent weeks, but this one feels particularly special. I have not been mayor for long, but already, thanks to the wonderful staff and my fantastic colleagues, this place feels like home. And in the spirit of Ramadan, I would like to welcome you in, to break bread, with your neighbours and friends from across the borough.  

Lambeth is home, to one of the most unique communities in the world, and it gives me great pride, to continue our borough’s fine tradition of opening our doors and celebrating our diversity. It is wonderful, but therefore not at all surprising, to see so many different communities, represented here tonight.  

For Ramadan in its essence, is about coming together, as we do every evening, such as this one, to break fast. It delivers the universal lesson that, whatever our place in life, whatever our experiences, whatever our differences, we all fundamentally share the same needs, for food, shelter and companionship. And in doing so, It keeps us in touch with those less fortunate, who are often too easily overlooked, when we forget what it feels like to be hungry; when we forget what it feels like to be cold; when we forget what it feels like to be alone. 

But the true beauty of Ramadan’s message is that by bringing us together, it reminds us to reach out. It teaches us the importance of, going into our communities and making them a better place for all. Whether this be through fighting for social justice, volunteering with local charities, or just simply being a better neighbour. 

I think it is fitting then, to celebrate what I think is, Ramadan’s true municipal spirit, at the heart of our local government. There are few other places where, we can have such a direct and immediate impact, on the lives of our fellow citizens. It is a great responsibility, that can’t be taken lightly, and is best renewed, by welcoming in our different communities and putting them front and centre, of everything we do.  

So once again welcome to Lambeth Town Hall, I hope that it feels as home to you as it does to me.  

Ramadan Mubarak.