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RMT to end rail strikes after members accept pay deal

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT, said the campaign of industrial action showed that “sustained strike action and unity gets results”…reports Asian Lite News

Members of the RMT union have voted to accept a pay deal and end almost 18 months of strikes across the UK rail network.

The country’s largest transport union on Thursday said its members had “spoken in huge numbers” to accept the offer.

The agreement represents a big breakthrough in the long dispute between rail workers and train operators and the government that first erupted in the summer of last year.

But rail passengers still face disruption in the coming days as Aslef, the train drivers’ union, begins its latest series of walkouts over pay and proposed changes to working practices, with no sign of a deal in sight.

RMT members accepted an offer of a backdated pay rise of 5 per cent for the 2022-23 financial year, plus job security guarantees and no changes to working conditions.

Difficult talks between unions and industry over modernisation will instead be pushed into next year and negotiated at a local level by individual train companies.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT, said the campaign of industrial action showed that “sustained strike action and unity gets results”.

He added: “We will be negotiating further with the train operators over reforms they want to see. And we will never shy away from vigorously defending our members’ terms and conditions, now or in the future.” With revenues way below pre-pandemic levels, the government has been pushing train operators to cut costs through big changes to working practices — the government controls the purse strings of the industry.

According to industry data released earlier this week, passenger revenues in the 12 months to the end of March were £8.6bn and state subsidies totalled £11.9bn, compared with £12bn and £7.4bn respectively in the year before the pandemic hit.

Mark Harper, transport secretary, said the deal with the RMT was “welcome news for passengers and a significant step towards resolving industrial disputes on the railway”.

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents the industry, said the deal meant agreements have been sealed with three out of the four unions on the rail network. “Unfortunately, the Aslef leadership’s decision to call further industrial action means passengers still face disruption between December 1 and 9,” it said.

Aslef members will stage six days of “rolling” strikes at 16 train companies from Saturday, with drivers at different operators walking out on each day. The union has also imposed an overtime ban, which begins on Friday and will cause disruption across the network until December 9.

“We are determined to win this dispute and get a significant pay rise for train drivers who have not had an increase since 2019 while the cost of living, in that time, has soared,” said Mick Whelan, Aslef’s general secretary.

The union rejected a pay and reform offer worth 8 per cent over two years in April, and rail industry executives are gloomy at the prospect of a deal.

ALSO READ-‘Gravity Under My Feet, Warmth In My Heart’

Food London News Restaurant Reviews

Treat Your Loved Ones to Opihr Gin This Christmas

This Christmas, add a bit of spice to your festivities with Opihr London Dry Gin. As well as making delicious winter cocktails, Opihr’s beautiful gift box is the perfect and affordable present for the gin lovers in your life and will add a touch of style to any home drinks bar. A feature by lifestyle columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

Opihr London Dry Gin is infused with exotic hand-picked botanicals, spices and herbs from the Ancient Spice Route, including cardamom from India, coriander from Morocco, grapefruit from Turkey and orange peel from Spain.

Suggested Festive Serve: Opihr Spiced Apple

50ml Opihr London Dry Gin | 50ml Cloudy Apple Juice | Ginger Beer

Fill a copa glass with ice and add all ingredients, stir gently. Garnish with some freshly grated cinnamon and a cinnamon stick to finish.

Opihr London Dry Gin with Glass Gift Pack 

For the Opihr lover in your life, give them the beautiful glass gift pack. In this year’s ou get a full size 70cl bottle of Opihr London Dry Gin and a branded copa glass to enjoy your G&T in.

Opihr has two further expressions which both build on the original flavour of Opihr London Dry Gin.  

Opihr Aromatic Bitters Gin 

This gin brings the addition of Cascarilla bark to the original Opihr recipe, further building out the fragrant and herbaceous flavour profile.

Suggested Festive Serve: Opihr Aromatic Garden

40ml Opihr Aromatic Bitters Gin | 15ml Sweet Vermouth | 75ml Cloudy Apple Juice | 10ml Pomegranate Syrup or Grenadine | 3 Dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters

Shake all ingredients over ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with one mint leaf and a sprinkling on freshly grated nutmeg

Opihr Aromatic Bitters Gin ABV: 43%  Available from: DrinkSupermarketAmazonMaster of Malt and Neat and Shaken

Opihr Black Lemon Gin

Opihr London Dry Gin is elevated through the marriage of citrus and spice, with powerful bursts of black lemons and heightened by the rich citrus flavour of Timut peppers to create Opihr Black Lemon Gin.  

Suggested Festive Serve: Opihr Lemon Fizz

20ml Opihr Black Lemon Gin | 15ml Apricot or Peach Liqueur | 1 Dash Peychaud’s Bitters | Small Pinch of Sea Salt | Prosecco

Add all liquid ingredients with the exception of the Prosecco, add a tiny pinch of sea salt and stir gently. Top with Prosecco. Garnish with a sprig of thyme

Opihr Black Lemon Gin ABV: 40%  Available from: DrinkSupermarketAmazonMaster of Malt and Neat and Shaken

Food London News Restaurant Reviews

Greenall’s Paper Gin bottle – an affordable, classic gin for sustainable Christmas drinking

Greenall’s Gin is handcrafted by England’s oldest gin distillery, G&J Distillers, the original pioneers of gin. In 2022 Greenall’s was one of a handful of brands to launch an eco-friendly paper bottle as part of their Greener Greenall’s campaign. A feature by lifestyle columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

Greenall’s Gin makes for a classic gin at an affordable price and presented in an eco friendly paper bottle is a great gin to enjoy over the festive period or a gift to those looking to be kinder to the planet. 

The 70 cl paper bottle is made from 94% recycled paperboard which reduces weight, carbon footprint and water usage.  The brand has also partnered with climate action organisation Ecologi, and are planting a tree in an area of need for every paper bottle sold worldwide, to help regenerate woodlands and improve biodiversity.

Alongside this, the distillery is proud of it’s sustainable strategy and is now running on 100% renewable energy from offshore wind farms.  100% of all the distillery waste is recycled and general waste is converted into electricity to power homes whilst their botanical waste is composted for use by local farmers and unused botanicals are donated to local businesses for reuse.

Greenall’s Original London Dry Gin is available in 70 cl Paper and Glass Format

A classic, crisp, well rounded and juniper-led gin, Greenall’s Gin is distilled by female Master Distiller Joanne Moore and her team using the same eight botanicals that Thomas Dakin used in 1761. Greenall’s Original London Gin is the perfect base for mixing cocktails and makes a very English Gin and Tonic. Greenall’s is also gluten free. 

Tasting Notes

Nose: Rounded juniper notes and mature citrus flavours, which are fresh and punchy; finishing with woody, earthy aromas and warm spice

Taste: Silky smooth opening that develops into rich camphor and citrus taste with underlying eastern spice

Finish: A lasting finish with delicate bitterness and residual sweetness.

Their new paper bottle is made from 94% paper board so it reduces weight, carbon footprint and water usage. So, with each refreshing sip of your G&T, you’re not only tasting something good, you’re doing something good.

ALSO READ: Your Christmas Party Essential – The Cocktail Society Party Pouches

Food London News Restaurant Reviews

Your Christmas Party Essential – The Cocktail Society Party Pouches

Hosting the best drinks party of the Christmas season has never been easier than with The Cocktail Society’s 1 Litre Party Pouches. The Cocktail Society is all about making bar-quality cocktails accessible to everyone. The Oxford-based team have meticulously developed their cocktail range, working closely with top spirits and drinks producers to create extraordinary drinking experiences. A feature by lifestyle columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

Hosting has never been easier. All you need is The Cocktail Society’s Party Pouch of your choice, a shaker and some ice and you are ready to serve award-winning cocktails from the comfort of your home and at a fraction of the cost of a bar. Each pouch contains 10-12 servings, meaning the cost of one drink starts at £2.75. The Cocktail Society’s range of Party Pouches guarantees you bar-quality cocktails every serve. Each pouch is handcrafted by experienced bartenders in Oxfordshire with premium, clean ingredients.  

The full cocktail range:

Classic Negroni

Coconut & Kaffir Lime Leaf Daiquiri

Hibiscus & Elderflower Martini

Oak Aged Sloe Negroni 

Passion Fruit Martini

Salted Caramel Espresso Martini 

Smoked Old Fashioned

*lTommy’s Margarita 

NEW for 2023 * Spiced Tommy’s Margarita 

The Oak Aged Sloe Negroni, Salted Caramel Espresso Martini and Tommy’s Margarita have all achieved Great Taste Awards. The Spiced Tommy’s Margarita won a Master award from The Spirits Business this year and was named ‘best in class’ out of all of the master winners. 

Heading to a party and wanting to bring something a bit more exciting than a box of chocolates? The Cocktail Society offer the full range of Premium ready-to-serve, award-winning, bar-quality cocktails in beautifully packaged 200ml and 500ml bottles, making the perfect gift for cocktail aficionados.

Bottled cocktails are a growing trend in the UK as consumers look for more unique at home drinking experiences. They are made with premium ingredients, taste delicious and have quirky branding.

These bottled cocktails are a labour of love made by bartenders. The brand have created every bottle so it’s a ready to drink cocktail. This means they batch every cocktail to an exact recipe and bottle at their warehouse in Oxford.

The drinks have no nasties in them to preserve the liquid and tatse as delicious as they would in your favourite bar. Their team have developed our product meticulously, working closely with top spirits and drinks producers to create extraordinary drinking experiences. They work with brands such as Chase Distillery, Buffalo Trace, The Missing Bean and Gibson’s Organic Liqueurs to make our products.

These Cocktails are incredibly popular and the bottled cocktails are loved by their customers. They offer gift messaging and next day delivery as standard so the bottled cocktails are the ideal last-minute birthday present or gift to say thanks to loved ones too. A dreamy gift for cocktail lovers, why not send a bottled cocktail instead of flowers or bubbly this festive season?

India News London News UK News

Tushar Kumar: Youngest Indian-Origin Labour Councillor Honoured at House of Lords

21-Year-Old Tushar’s Philanthropic Efforts Recognised on International Men’s Day, says Rahul Laud

Tushar Kumar, a 21-year-old newly elected Labour Party councillor and Politics BSc student at King’s College London was honoured recently at the House of Lords by the Global Indian Organsiation. This event was on the occasion of International Men’s Day, a day dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating the positive impact men have on society.

Tushar’s journey began earlier this year when he became the youngest Indian-origin councillor, at the age of 20, elected in the local May elections. Juggling his studies with a commitment to the community, Tushar has been actively involved in various philanthropic activities. His role extends from teaching Hindi at the Hindi Shiksha Parishad UK to organising events and volunteering for senior citizens’ welfare.

His dedication to public service and the community has earned him a spot in the prestigious Civil Service Fast Stream programme. Not one to rest on his laurels, Tushar is also part of the University Officers’ Training Corps (UOTC).

On International Men’s Day, a day that emphasises the importance of men’s well-being and contributions to society, Tushar was awarded a monument, a certificate, and a medal at the House of Lords. The recognition was given in the presence of notable Lords and Members of Parliament, acknowledging his efforts in making a positive difference in the community.

On his Facebook post, Tushar expressed his gratitude and humility upon receiving this honour. He wrote, “Receiving this accolade in such a revered place on such a meaningful day is truly humbling. It reinforces my commitment to continue making a positive impact in the world. Let’s continue to celebrate the men in our lives and work together for a brighter, more inclusive future.”

Tushar Kumar’s story on International Men’s Day serves as a reminder of the valuable contributions men can make towards creating a more equitable and caring world.

ALSO READ: Rajesh Agrawal to Represent Labour in Leicester East

Arts & Culture London News Music

A multi-hyphenate music luminary: Badshah. Live in Concert at Ovo Arena, Wembley London

The tour currently named Badshah Live will include a performance on 25th November 2023 at the Ovo Arena in Wembley. Badshah is one of the most influential and pioneering figures in the South Asian music landscape. He is currently the 4th most followed Indian artist on Spotify and is ranked #57 on the global list with over 16 million monthly listeners. A feature by columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

Badshah is on a mission to propel the global domination of Indian pop and hip hop, rapper, producer, mentor and entrepreneur – Badshah is a history maker! From farmlands to stardom, Badshah embodies the quintessential rags-to-riches dream, becoming one of the most successful generational artists while building a culturally rich empire that has made him one of the most bankable names in the Indian music industry.

Today he is one the most sought-after creative powerhouses that every label owner or film producer turns to when they need a guaranteed hit, a festival hot seller who appeals to the multitudes and a trendsetter who has influenced and set a template for a whole new generation of aspiring rappers.

Before he assumed the stage name Badshah, the now-iconic music juggernaut was once a civil engineer in Haryana. Badshah’s real name is Aditya Prateek Singh Sisodia. He was raised in a middle-class Punjabi home in New Delhi – his father worked in a government office while his mother was a school teacher. A math nerd at school, he spent a lot of his early teens devising alternative proofs for classic theorems, or performing DIY physics experiments, or honing his entrepreneurial skills with a comics lending business out of his bedroom or designing sneakers.

During his late teenage years, he took to Asian underground sounds of the U.K. whilst studying at PEC University Of Technology, Chandigarh. He adopted his first ever rap pseudonym ‘MC Cool Equal’ which was one half of ‘Northern Clique’, a band he created with a college companion. Post university, he continued to fuel his passion for music. He spent the daytime toiling away at a civil engineering job and at nights he would be busy recording in the studio which eventually led him to the discovery of Mafia Mundeer.

A few years later after going independent, he broke out of the Punjabi rap underground with a sleeper hit ‘Saturday Saturday’ (2012), a party anthem for urban India. After a string of Bollywood hits – including the house party favourite ‘Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai’ (2014) and the club banger ‘Aaj Raat Ka Scene’ (2015) – he released his debut major label single ‘DJ Waley Babu’ (2015). The track climbed to the No. 1 spot on the Indian iTunes chart in 24 hours and was named one of the ten most successful non-English songs in the world by Consequence Of Sound, anchoring his dominance in the desi rap circuit and making him a torchbearer of the new-age Bollywood sound. The music video for ‘DJ Waley Babu’ and subsequent releases such as ‘2 Many Girls’ (2015) and ‘Kar Gayi Chull’ (2016) successfully tapped into the escapist yearnings of a new aspirational generation of upwardly mobile, brand-conscious andunabashedly hedonistic young people.

Like most celebrities, Badshah witnessed his highs and lows in equal proportion. After a barrage of emotional setbacks, including battling clinical depression and a severe anxiety disorder, his evolution as an artist truly shone through with the release of ‘O.N.E.’ (2018), ‘The Power Of Dreams Of A Kid’ (2020) and his 2021 singles ‘Genda Phool’ and ‘Paani Paani’ which ascended to the No. 1 spot on the Global YouTube Music Videos Chart. He shied away from his formulaic musical style of bonafide club bangers and bared his soul with gut-punch authenticity as he re-engaged with other emerging hip hop artists from the scene.

In 2021, he delivered a colossal hit ‘Jugnu’ which was supplementarily used by YouTube for the launch of YT Shorts, making him the world’s second artist after BTS to get this unique sync. He premiered another smasher thereafter in the form of collaboration with internet sensation Sahdev Dirdo on ‘Bachpan Ka Pyaar’ which scaled to the No. 1 spot on Global YouTube Music Videos Chart. Later that year, he got signed to global music giant Universal Music Group and released the global trilingual superhit ‘Voodoo’ featuring J Balvin and Tainy which got noteworthily got integrated for the AirPods Pro 2 launch and FIFA 23 as well as got featured on the Formula 1 playlist. Subsequently, the insanely gifted pop-rap behemoth also collaborated with Mikey McCleary on the celebratory song ‘Bachke Rehna Re Baba’ from the action-packed Netflix film ‘Red Notice’

The music titan’s succeeding EPs ‘Retropanda’ (2022) and ‘3 A.M. Sessions’ (2023) further reinforced his detour from his foot-stomping party anthems and highlighted his musical reinvention as he experimented with nostalgic old-world charm, synthwave and paid homage to the lilting melodies of ’90s Bollywood and Indipop.

From a decade-spanning music career with over 500 stadium shows under his touring repertoire, the Delhi-born music mogul’s film contributions have undoubtedly propelled him to a league of his own. His string of film credits include ‘Kapoor & Sons’, ‘Sultan’, ‘Baar Baar Dekho’, ‘Dabanng’, ‘Dhakaad’, ‘Veere Di Wedding’, ‘Saaho’, ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’, ‘Shivaay’, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’, ‘ABCD’, ‘Khoobsurat’ amongst others.

With a long-term vision to sample Indian sounds to western audiences and champion the dominance of Indian music in the international music industry, Badshah, who’s worked with most of Bollywood’s elite has been at the forefront of the cross-cultural exchange programme and has collaborated with global heavyweights such as J Balvin, Tainy, Sean Paul, Major Lazer, Diplo, Tiesto, Lil Baby, Mikey McCleary amongst others.

Badshah’s ability to fuse contemporary production with traditional Indian soundscapes to create anthemic and experimental records, has helped him garner admiration, respect and an unparalleled fandom among artists, stakeholders and audiences throughout the vast diaspora of India and the South Asian community across the world.

As someone who’s regarded as an establishment of sorts, Badshah continues to maintain an underdog status and keeps his creative appetite alive.

Named as one of the most influential contemporary Indian artists by GQ and Forbes, Badshah is the only Indian artist to have achieved 18 different chartbusters with more than 300 million video views each on YouTube, including: ‘Jugnu’, ‘Bachpan Ka Pyaar’, ‘Paani Paani’, ‘Genda Phool’, ‘She Move It Like’,

‘Paagal Kala Chashma’, ‘Heartless’, ‘DJ Waley Babu’, ‘Garmi’ and ‘Mercy’, breaking several chart-records such as Billboard Global 200, YouTube Music Video Charts, BBC Asian Network Charts along the way.

Based on combined annual video views on YouTube, the 38-year-old music powerhouse was acknowledged by music rights data platform Blokur in 2021, as the world’s No. 1 songwriter on YouTube with over 15 billion views on YouTube, establishing his sovereign reign in the pop-rap realm.

Owing to his unprecedented success, popular reality shows such as MTV Hustle (2022) and India’s Got Talent (2022,2023) empanelled him as a judge, UAE World ILT20 tournament (2023) collaborated with him for the league’s official anthem ‘Halla Halla’ as well as for the opening ceremony performance and Genies aligned with him for a global campaign (2022) aimed at personalized celebrity digital avatars for the metaverse. In 2022, Amazon miniTV onboarded him for a special appearance on their marquee title and India’s first court of comedy ‘Case Toh Banta Hai’.

On the brand front, he’s been an ambassador for Ajio (2022) and FairPlay (2023). He’s also created brand anthems for Yamaha RayZR (2016), Hitachi I-Clean (2016), Tuborg OPEN (2017), Pepsi Check My Fizz (2019), Discovery+ India (2021), Tata Play Binge (2023), Royal Stag Boombox (2023) and The Jameson (2023).

An avid connoisseur of all things pop culture, the stylish tastemaker has invested in exciting ventures that allow him to expand his interests and influence beyond music, including a luxury streetwear clothing line ‘Badfit’ (2017), a stake in franchise-based sports league ‘Ultimate Kho Kho’ (2022) and cricket fantasy league ‘Crickpe’ (2023) among other ventures.

While he stays fiercely guarded about his private life as well his philanthropic endeavours, Badshah is also widely loved for his generosity, honesty and humility, having contributed towards multiple social causes including welfare and upliftment of women and children.

Sitting pretty at the top of the Indian music pyramid, by virtue of his laser focussed work ethic and cult following, Badshah is now gearing up for a greater undertaking. As someone who credits The Weeknd, Backstreet Boys and Drake as his musical influences, Badshah’s end goal is to partake in the advocacy and the supremacy of Indian music on global territories.

Badshah said, “It’s always heartwarming to connect with my fans. I’ve always wanted to take my music far and wide. I want to give my audiences something new everytime so they have fun and relish the music and I want to reach more of our global audiences. I can’t wait to be back to spread some love and good vibes at my upcoming arena show!”

ALSO READ: Release the issues in the tissues: The Rosen Method Bodywork by Francesca Stutely

FEATURE Health London News

Release the issues in the tissues: The Rosen Method Bodywork by Francesca Stutely

The Rosen Method is hands-on bodywork that connects physical tension with emotional holding. The subtle touch allows your body to go into a deep state of relaxation, letting go of tension that may have been there for years, it creates a space for letting go. The Rosen Method is hands on touch that peels back the layers of protection, once released love and joy are found. A feature by lifestyle columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

Our bodies have muscle memory and The Rosen Method encourages access to this space, creating a possibility for softening of the muscles, a release and a new space for change, both physically and emotionally. 

Francesca Stutely “I was fortunate enough to be in Marion Rosen’s class, learning from the founder herself and I enjoy passing on this knowledge to my clients. There’s strength in vulnerability. Once you allow yourself to be vulnerable – you don’t have to pretend anymore. This is where the truth lies. The Rosen Method Bodywork releases trauma from the body, softening muscles and creating peace and space, in the body and the mind’ Francesca Stutely

A session takes place, on a massage table, wearing underwear, covered with a sheet and blanket and lasts for one hour. This is not a pamper massage, it’s an extremely powerful tool for self development.

‘This work takes u from who you think you are to who you really are. In the end you can’t be anyone else’ said the method founder Marion Rosen once.

The Rosen Method Bodywork allows you to be you- not who you have become or who people expect you to be. The healing is in the feelings, allowing the tears to flow creates space for inner peace. There’s no more delicious place to be, said Francesca Stutely.

About Francesca Stutely:

At age 21 Francesca, born and bred in London, travelled through India and Nepal, where she contracted amoebic dysentery, then a viral illness, which resulted in reactive arthritis. Unable to walk properly it set her on a path to her own healing.

Absolutely determined to get well, with a mixture of dozens of holistic therapies, and a different mental attitude, she changed her diet, and her party lifestyle.

On her path towards healing, she discovered The Rosen Method bodywork, a very powerful hands on technique that connects muscle tension with buried emotions. She was so fascinated by the mind-body connection, that she stayed and studied at The Rosen Institute in Berkeley California with Marion Rosen herself. After 4 years of studies, she became a practitioner herself (1994).

In California, she also started practicing Yoga and was hooked, later deciding to become a teacher. She studied at Yoga Center Madrid qualifying as a Sivananda Hatha Yoga teacher 2005.

The Rosen Method connected Francesca to the unconscious body, and she wanted to know more about the unconscious mind. This led her to study NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), and she became a Practitioner, and then a Master Practitioner at The NLP School in London in 2011, with Robbie Steinhouse.

Francesca has been crew at both Tony Robbins’ UPW, and various Hay House events in London.
Francesca truly believes it takes a continuing combination of disciplines, both mental and physical to achieve ongoing health and wellbeing.

Francesca wants to share her knowledge and experience with the world so they can obtain the same inner peace that she feels so blessed to have found.

ALSO READ: KINARA: Top-Notch Indian Cuisine in Dubai

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Rajesh Agrawal to Represent Labour in Leicester East

In August this year, the UK’s main opposition suspended its Leicester East constituency Labour party after allegations of rule-breaking in the run-up to the next general election, the Guardian revealed…reports Asian Lite News

Rajesh Agrawal, London’s Indian-origin Deputy Mayor for Business, has been selected as Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate for Leicester East — the city that witnessed fierce Hindu-Muslim clashes in 2022, following an India-Pakistan cricket match.

Agrawal was chosen at a hustings held in Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre on November 18 for Labour members in the constituency with one of the biggest South Asian populations in the UK.”It’s time to use this auspicious moment to reset Leicester East, with a Labour MP who’ll deliver for everyone who lives here. Together, let’s get Britain’s future back,” Agrawal wrote on X after his selection.In his campaign statement, Agrawal stated that Leicester East needs an MP like him who is “passionately pro business and pro worker, ambitious to attract investment that transforms your prospects, bridging the regional cultural, economic and religious differences that can too easily divide us”.

The fintech entrepreneur said that as London’s Deputy Mayor for Business, he has attracted hundreds of millions in international investment, created hundreds of thousands more jobs and gave over 255,000 people better employment conditions.”I’ll bring similar successes to Leicester East and make sure it gets its fair share,” he added.As an MP for Leicester East, Agrawal said he would be focusing on affordable homes for all his constituents, encourage diverse communities to come together, protect jobs, promote fair pay and increase the standard of living for all.Along with Agrawal, Labour had chosen Councillor Rishi Madlani, a sitting member of Camden Council, for the seat at that has been facing turbulence following conviction of sitting MP Claudia Webbe, who was expelled from the party in 2021.Agrawal’s selection comes amid reports that both Keith Vaz and Webbe — former Labour MPs for Leicester East — could stand as independent candidates at the next general election and hand the seat to the Conservatives.According to the Guardian, Leicester’s Labour mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, said he expected both to stand against an official Labour candidate, which could split the vote.Vaz, a British Indian who served as an MP for 32 years, retired from Parliament after being caught offering to get drugs for male prostitutes.In August this year, the UK’s main opposition suspended its Leicester East constituency Labour party after allegations of rule-breaking in the run-up to the next general election, the Guardian revealed.

The constituency has been subjected to an internal investigation by the party’s headquarters, following concerns over Labour’s performance in the city’s local elections in May, when it lost 22 council seats and the Conservatives gained 17, bucking the national trend, the Guardian reported.In Leicester East, Labour’s majority fell from 22,428 in 2017 to 6,019 in 2019, and in the run-up to the May election, Labour suspended 19 sitting councillors, many of whom were from the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

ALSO READ-Labour Party can promote two-state solution, says pro-Israel group

Food London News Restaurant Reviews

Flavourful Sri Lankan Food in London made with flair: Karapincha

Karapincha serves authentic Sri Lankan food which have been inspired by the owners’ mother’s recipes. The brand consists of a group of Sri Lankan cafes and small kitchens where these time tested recipes come to life. Born in Kandy, Sri Lanka and with a family legacy of owning the most popular vegetarian restaurant in Colombo, the owners carry with them the greatest memories and influences from the South Asian island where they grew up. A feature by FnB columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

The brand’s cooking is fuelled by flavoursome, and often fiery, spices so they chose the name “Karapincha” which originates from the Sinhala word for curry leaf – an important ingredient that lies at the very heart of the dishes and is used in the majority of their hand-ground spice blends, giving them their inimitable, multifaceted flavour.

Owned by twin sisters Vasanthini and Dharshini Perumal, Karapincha combines vibrant flavours with bright island energy and humble, homecooked goodness, all inspired by their late mother Rajamma. In the spirit of authenticity, they’ve preserved family recipes and put home cooks, not chefs, in charge of the Karapincha kitchens, so expect a taste of genuine home-cooked Sri Lankan goodness.

They serve food that packs a deliciously soul warming punch and have already earned a reputation as one of the best places for authentic Sri Lankan cuisine in the capital.

Their site in Canary Wharf brings never-before-seen dishes from the sisters including a morning-busting breakfast offering that can’t be found anywhere else in London.Breaking new ground as the first hospitality business to open in a Tube station where the kitchen is actually cooking the food, Karapincha’s inaugural all-day café is the next stop in grab-and-go freshness.

Everything is homemade. From the roti to the mayonnaise, to the spice blends and the curries; everything is cooked, simmered and chopped the way the brand owners-Vasanthini and Dharshini were taught, and exactly as their mother’s old recipes state.

Breakfast includes freshly cooked Vegan Roti filled with roasted pepper, aubergine, spinach and tahini which gives a nutritious start to the day, while Egg or Turkey Ham & Cheese Roti provide satisfying sustenance to those who struggle to get their morning started! Signature Cardamom & Cinnamon French Toast with banana and mango, shaved coconut and maple syrup is the naughty treat you never knew you needed while ‘Classics with a Twist’ add feisty Sri Lankan sass to cult brekkie favourites. 

Avocado Toast receives added kick with sesame seeds and chilli; the Egg Brioche hits the spot with a Sri Lankan egg omelette, onions, coriander leaves and green chilli peppers all nestled within an egg souffle brioche roll; Vegan Porridge is sprinkled with cocoa nibs, Omega seeds and summer berries; while satisfying Baked Eggs features spiced tomato sauce, roasted peppers & Labneh.

If you are just looking for a Quick Bite coffee accompaniment then get the hit you need with their Coconut & Orange Overnight Oats; Homemade Granola & Yoghurt pot with mango, pineapple and coconut; or a protein- filled Cold Wrap with either chickpeas or chicken. All available with any hot drink – from Ceylon or Chai Tea to Espresso and Latte making it one of the best breakfast deals in the Wharf!

Then from 11.30am until closing, big, bold dishes take centre stage. Short Eats (a Sri Lankan term for snacks designed with the convenience of travel in mind) consist of: moreish Spicy Rolls containing curried vegetables or lamb; spice-laden chicken or veg Samosas and traditional Cutlets (potatoes mixed with chicken or veggies coated with seasoned breadcrumbs). Perfect for a light bite on-the-go or as a side to one of the bigger bowls.

Larger appetites will be appeased with specials which are full of warming flavours and aromatic spices. Karapincha’s famous Kothu Roti (shredded roti stir-fried with vegetables or chicken) or addictively good Devilled Chicken with fried rice are must-tries. Meanwhile, Build Your Own Curries allow you to mix, match and experiment with Sri Lankan ingredients and flavour, finished off with intriguing add-ons including: Beetroot Piratal (beetroot cooked in a mild coconut- based sauce); Aubergine Moju (fried aubergine in a sweet & savoury sauce); and Mama Perumal’s very special Pickled Pineapple.

The menus have been thoughtfully designed to satisfy a range of tastes and preferences. With plenty of plant-based, vegetarian and halal options, there’s something to please every palate.

Calming hues of green at the Canary Wharf cafe are complemented by characterful touches including authentic family photographs, potted plants and statement wicker pendant lights that transform the intimate station space into a homely haven. Whether you’re waiting out rush hour, meeting a friend for a bite, or simply need a change of scene with your meal, there are 10 seats for the taking.

Authentic in every sense, all visits come accompanied by the unmistakable bang and swish of Kothu Roti being sauteed on the hot griddle and scent of fragrant spice blends permeating the air as Karapincha’s homecooks (specifically not chefs) prepare your hot and fresh feast.

Family values lie at the very heart of Karapincha. Sisters Vasanthini and Dharshini see their business as creating an extension of their cherished family, inviting people from all walks of life who share a passion for cooking and respect for traditions, to come and learn alongside them. It’s of the utmost importance to them that guests entering their eateries feel like they are being welcomed into the Perumal home, a sentiment that is embodied by every member of their dedicated teams who exude natural warmth and genuine hospitality.

It’s time for appetites to be spiced and souls to be warmed – you are sure to feel welcomed in Karapincha by the welcoming staff. 

At Karapincha the food portions are generous, the service is friendly, flavours are on point, menu selection and food quality is excellent, packaging and presentation are great too. All in all, very highly recommended! 

Karapincha can be found at: 

Old Spitalfields Market | 16 Horner Square, London E1 6EW

Market Place Vauxhall | 7-11 S Lambeth Road, London SW8 1SP

Canary Wharf | Unit 14 Canary Wharf Station, London E14 4HJ

Mercato Metropolitano | 42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR

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London News Music

Bonus London Dates Added to Taylor’s Eras Tour

According to Ticketmaster listings for the new shows, general on sale will go live for the August 19 show today at 2pm GMT, while the August 20 sale starts on November 15…reports Asian Lite News

Popstar Taylor Swift isn’t quite done with her gigs in the UK just yet as she has now added two additional stops in London as part of her Eras Tour.

Initially scheduled for only six shows, the singer was due to perform six shows at London’s Wembley Arena on June 21, 22 and 23, followed by August 15, 16 and 17.

Now she has added two additional shows on August 19, and 20, she has taken the count to eight as she embarks on the European leg of her tour in 2024. All of Swift’s London concerts will take place at Wembley Stadium with support from the rock band Paramore, according to ‘Variety’.

Parmore took to their official X and wrote: “The Eras Tour with @taylorswift13, 2024. Two new shows added at Wembley Stadium, August 19 & 20. A limited number of fans who previously registered for shows in London will be selected for access to the sale and will receive notifications via email starting today.”

According to Ticketmaster listings for the new shows, general on sale will go live for the August 19 show today at 2pm GMT, while the August 20 sale starts on November 15.

Swift recently kicked off her trek across South America, starting with three shows in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She made headlines on November 11 night when she changed the lyrics of ‘Karma’ to seemingly confirm her romance with American football player Travis Kelce.

A part of the audience, the sportsman heard singing: “Karma is the guy on the Chiefs/ Coming straight home to me.” Swift also took time during November 12 show to ask the crowd not to throw things on stage, saying “it really freaks me out”.

“I love that you brought presents and that is so nice, but just can you please not throw them on the stage,” Swift said. “I love you so much.”

Swift will next play six shows in Brazil before taking a break for the holidays. In February, the Eras Tour will start back up in Tokyo before heading to Australia.

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