Labour Friends of India celebrates Diwali with Sir Keir Starmer and prominent leaders from the Indian community in the UK

Monday 22nd November 2021 17:33 EST

The Labour Friends of India hosted their annual Diwali Reception with nearly 100 key figures from across the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain communities, including MPs, councillors, and Labour party members on Tuesday 16 November. The event was hosted by Co-Chairmen of LFIN Rajesh Agrawal (Deputy Mayor of London for Business) and Darren Jones MP (Chair, House of Commons Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Committee).

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer MP, Shadow Chancellor Angela Rayner and the Bhaktivedanta Manor Temple’s Alpesh Patel took part in the traditional lamp lighting ceremony to inaugurate the evening.

Other guests included Jonathan Ashworth MP, Stephen Timms MP, Catherine McKinnell MP, Fleur Anderson MP, Kate Osborne MP, Patrick McFadden MP, Virender Sharma MP and Tan Dhesi MP.

Sir Starmer said, “I am delighted to see such enthusiastic support for the work of Labour friends of India at this evening’s Diwali reception. I am committed to working closely with the Indian community, including building stronger links with India’s business and cooperating on global issues such as climate change.”   

“Diwali is an important festival for the community. It was good to celebrate it with so many of my fellow Parliamentarians and LFIN members. Our engagement with the Indian community has been going from strength to strength and we are pleased to see attendees from business, community leadership and more widely in attendance,” said Mr Jones.

Mr Agrawal added, “Since the Labour Friends of India relaunched in 2019, we have worked closely with the Keir Starmer’s office to continue to promote UK-India ties as well as continuing to raise any issues from the community to the leadership. We are pleased at such a positive turnout as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Last month, LFIN launched The Mahatma Gandhi Future Leaders Program, a mentoring and leadership program for a new generation of political leaders from the Indian community in the UK, which will enhance the relationship between the UK and India. The six-month program started in October 2021 and will run until the next Labour Party conference.

Labour Friends of India (LFIN) is a community of party members, supporters and political office holders which aspires to strengthen the relationship between British Indians and the Labour Party. The organisation also strives to fortify relations between the age-old relationship between the UK and India, the world’s largest democracy and the world’s oldest.

Set up in 1999, the LFIN was relaunched in January 2017 at an event attended by then Indian High Commissioner Ruchi Ghanshyam, and members of the shadow cabinet such as John McDonnell MP.

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