British Prime Minister Gordon Brown described Diwali as "a wonderful inclusive festival" as thousands of enthusiastic Hindus and Sikhs in Britain celebrated the Indian festival of light last night.
In a message telecast on different channels last night, Brown said "I am delighted to send my warmest greetings to everyone in our Hindu and Sikh communities on the auspicious occasion of Diwali."
He said "Diwali is such a wonderful inclusive festival, which reaches beyond your communities to people of many backgrounds all over the world. The symbolic lighting of lamps, representing life, hope and new beginnings sends a powerful message of unity and peace to us all.
"I know that Diwali is a special time for families, who come together to celebrate and reflect on the year gone by."
"And it also gives me an opportunity to recognize and reflect on the huge contribution made by British Hindu and Sikh communities to our country's prosperity and our culture. Your involvement in every sphere of our national life is something we can all immensely be proud of," he added.
"Once again, my very best wishes for a joyous occasion. Happy Diwali."
Several leading corporate houses including the Hinduja Group and Cobra Beer have organized separate Diwali celebrations in the city, attended by hundreds of people.