No going back on multi-ethnic diversity, says Ed Miliband



London: Praising the contribution made by immigrants, including Indians, to the UK, opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband has asserted there is no going back on the multi-ethnic diversity in Britain.

Miliband, who was the Chief Guest at the annual Diwali Banquet of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan UK, cited NRI hotelier Joginder Sanger, the chairman of the bhavan was an example of the success of immigrants to this country.

"I pay tribute to the Bhavan for its incredible work and the wonderful country that Britain is," he told an audience including members of both Houses of Parliament and leading members of the Indian and UK business world.

Affirming his commitment to cultural and ethnic diversity, Miliband said "there is no going back on the multi-ethnic diverse country that is Britain."

He also praised the contribution made to the UK by members of the Indian community in Britain.

"Let me pay tribute to Mr Sanger who after 24 years of apprenticeship as Chairman of the Fund raising committee has become the Chairman of the Bhavan. You have achieved extraordinary things in life," Miliband told Sanger.

Miliband recalled how his own family had fled from Europe to Britain during World War II and how therefore he felt an affinity with many of those who had chosen to come to this country and settle down.

He said the Olympics had demonstrated that the UK "is a welcoming country and one which has a multicultural make-up" and expressed pride in the fact that immigrants such as Mo Farah, son of a refugee from Somalia, had represented Britain at the Games.

Jaimini Bhagwati, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK said: "Bhavan has done great work in terms of spreading the values that we hold high in India - peace, progress and tolerance."

He also paid tribute to the valuable contribution made to the UK by the Indian community in Britain.

Prominent among those present were Lord Swraj Paul and Lady Aruna Paul, Lord Navnit Dholakia and wife, Lord Hameed and Dr Kartar Lalvani, Founder chairman of the Vitabiotics, Britain's largest producer of vitamins. Indian politicians Amar Singh and Jayapradha als attended the event for a brief while.

PTI