| 3 December 2023, Sunday |

Boris Johnson pays tribute to Muslims in Downing Street’s first virtual iftar ( video)

Boris Johnson paid tribute to Muslim key workers while joining in the first virtual iftar at Downing Street.

The UK Prime Minister acknowledged the challenges for Muslims across the country as hundreds of thousands participate in Ramadan for the second year in a row under lockdown conditions.

On Thursday evening, he was joined by key workers and volunteers on a Zoom call who broke their fast by eating a customary date with the prime minister.

“This is an opportunity for me as prime minister to pay tribute to everybody in the Muslim community who has had to do all this to celebrate iftar in a way that we haven’t had to do before – to do it remotely, to do it like this with all the difficulties and privations that we have to endure because of Covid,” he said.

“Thank you very much for putting up with it.”

Saqib Bhatti, Conservative Party MP for Meriden, said Muslims in the UK had suffered significant distress during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Bhatti, who organised the iftar, said British Muslims were among “the hardest-hit communities”.

“There are a number of loved ones and friends who aren’t with us here today, so of course when you pray please reflect on the hardship that has come to many families across the country,” he said.

“We know from fasting that after hardship comes ease and we pray that they are blessed and they experience that ease as well.”

Mr Bhatti tweeted that the event was the first virtual iftar hosted by a UK prime minister.