As-salamu alaykum!

As mayor, it is a great pleasure to host you all in Lambeth Town Hall.

I’ve already had the great privilege of celebrating Eid this year all across Lambeth. But tonight feels particularly special. Eid is above all about spending time with loved ones and inviting friends and family into your home. And it is an honour, to have you all join me here tonight, in a place that has so quickly begun to feel like my home.

I hope that beyond the spirit of hospitality, the feeling is more than mutual for all of you. Because it gives me great pride, to continue our borough’s fine tradition, of opening our doors and celebrating our diversity.

Lambeth is home to one of the most unique communities in the world, and there is always something special about seeing us come together united in our differences.

I’ve often heard it said, that it is the destination, not the journey, that is most important. But I disagree! Wherever you come from, wherever you’ve been or wherever you may end up, we are all together here today, as citizens of Lambeth, in our town hall, united as a community. Breaking bread with your neighbours, as we are tonight, should be the most natural act in the world. But sadly, what comes so easily to us has greater and greater symbolism, in the increasingly divisive times in which we live.

So for that reason and many more, I thank you for coming! And I thank the Forum for International Relations and Development, the Ash-Shahada Housing Association and the KN Centre, for all the work they do throughout Lambeth and beyond!

But most of all, I wish you all a peaceful and prosperous year to come, Let’s continue to lift each other up and make a better community for all.

Thank you!