BASINGSTOKE Labour Party joined forces with the Basingstoke Hindu Society to host a Diwali celebration at Carnival Hall.

The event saw more than 200 people from Basingstoke’s Indian and South Asian communities and beyond attend.

Among the highlights was the presence of Labour MP for Ealing Southall, Virendra Sharma, as guest speaker, and Basingstoke dancers who performed as part of the evening's celebrations.

Other speakers included Labour councillor Sajish Tom, chair of the Basingstoke Labour Party Ros Bach and Basingstoke Hindu Society’s Bikram Banerjee.

There was also a virtual appearance from Basingstoke’s Labour Parliamentary candidate David Lawrence, who could not attend in person, having just become a first-time parent with a newborn baby.

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Reflecting on the event, Mr Lawrence said: "Diwali is a time to celebrate light and life, and be with family and loved ones. I was sorry to miss the event, having just had my first baby, two days before. 

“The celebration underscored the rich cultural diversity we have in this town. Hundreds attended the event to share food, dancing and traditions, guided by local leaders from Basingstoke Hindu Society who ensured a warm welcome for all at Carnival Hall.

"I am incredibly grateful to Virendra Sharma MP for joining us. Basingstoke's Indian and South Asian communities are an integral part of our town, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with them.”