Sadiq: Londoners must mix with those of different backgrounds

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has used a speech at Southwark Cathedral to call for Londoners to get to know their neighbours better.

Sadiq: Londoners must mix with those of different backgrounds
Sadiq: Londoners must mix with those of different backgrounds
The Mayor signs the declaration
Sadiq: Londoners must mix with those of different backgrounds
The declaration signed by Sadiq Khan and faith and community leaders

The Mayor was the keynote speaker at the Faith & Community Assembly organised by the Diocese of Southwark. The event featured young people as well as Christian, Jewish, Sikh and Muslim faith leaders.

The Mayor and the faith and community leaders signed a declaration at the end of the event, pledging to ensure that London "shall continue to be a place of welcome, generosity and equality, with respect for all".

The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, said one of the impulses for the event was the reported comment by a year 9 pupil at one of the diocese's schools, who the day after the EU referendum asked her mother: "Does that mean we have to leave now?"

The bishop explained that the event was "about London, our hopes for the future, and the part we can each play in promoting values which will help all Londoners flourish".

Mr Khan recalled his signing-in ceremony in the cathedral back in May.

He said: "As the Mayor of London, and as someone of Islamic faith, I am so proud to stand here today, shoulder to shoulder with all these people, in a Christian place of worship."

The Mayor praised the capital for its hospitality to people from so many backgrounds, but urged Londoners to do more to promote genuine integration.

Addressing the assembled gathering, Mr Khan said: "I want you to get out there and mix with people in your communities: at school; at college; in university; at work; in your places of worship.

"Talk to those people of different backgrounds who you see every day – but if we're honest, normally pass by and exchange only the odd word.

"Yes, we have the most diverse city in the world – and we should be deeply proud of the fact – but we don't have enough people mixing as much as they should.

"In return for doing that, my pledge to you is that I will support you every step of the way.

"While I represent a diverse and tolerant city, improving social integration is still one of the biggest challenges we face if we want the capital to fulfil its true potential."

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