It’s as predictable as a rainy day in London: every so often there is an article showing record numbers of people are leaving the capital. They want a better quality of life and are swapping their pokey one bedroom studio flat for a four-bed semi “up North”.
I completely get it. I’m a Londoner born and bred but I’m getting sick of the city too. It’s expensive, polluted, and overcrowded and the current high levels of homelessness and knife crime terrify me but I’m not leaving. For me, personally, as a black woman there is no place in the UK I would rather call home.
Diversity is London’s greatest strength and why it’s so special to me. It’s one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. Almost half of Londoners are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and over 300 languages are spoken in the city.
Embracing and celebrating diverse cultures is central to the city’s identity. Just look at the enduring popularity of Notting Hill Carnival, Brick Lane and the election of Sadiq Khan, the city’s first Muslim Mayor. It’s Londoners’ casual acceptance of the city’s entrenched diversity that I love most – the fact that Khan is a Muslim barely even registered with most Londoners.