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Mayor declares London Open as Capital hosts Citizenship Ceremony

Sadiq Khan highlights the contribution of Londoners from diverse backgrounds and shows that London is open to talent, creativity and ideas from all over the world.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today 27th February encouraged all Londoners to get more involved in their communities, as he joined hundreds of Londoners at a citizenship ceremony at the Southbank Centre.

Sadiq joined the families and friends of 52 new British citizens – representing every London borough – as they celebrate their new citizenship. Those being naturalised this year include Londoners of Polish, Italian, German, Jamaican, Sri Lankan, Ugandan and Georgian origin.

The Mayor welcomed the new citizens and acknowledged the charity workers, registrars, volunteers and councillors who make this process possible. He highlighted the contribution of Londoners from diverse backgrounds and show that London is open to talent, creativity and ideas from all over the world.

For many the path to citizenship is long and complex. Almost 40 per cent of Londoners were born abroad and an estimated third of these hold British citizenship. In 2017 there were 123,000 new citizens in the UK who attended a citizenship ceremony.

A key aim of the Mayor’s social integration strategy is for all Londoners to be empowered to become active citizens living interconnected lives. It is about every Londoner feeling like they belong in this city, having a shared set of values with other Londoners, and a role to play in the everyday life of the capital.

As well as recognising the responsibilities that come with active citizenship, guests will be encouraged to invest in their communities by registering to become blood and organ donors and consider giving their time as volunteers.

The ceremony – which is supported by Trust for London – was hosted by Zrinka Bralo, the Chief Executive of Migrants Organise and will feature an address by acclaimed author, broadcaster and commentator Bonnie Greer, musical performances by deaf artist and producer SignKid as well as the London International Gospel Choir.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Our city’s diversity has always been our greatest strength, with Londoners from all backgrounds living side by side. It is this open attitude that has shaped and defined us as a city, and despite Brexit and the government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy, London will continue to be open to talent, ideas and creativity”

Zrinka Bralo, CEO of Migrants Organise and Master of Ceremonies said: “As someone who found sanctuary in London 25 years ago when I fled besieged Sarajevo, this is a very special event for me”.


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