Good luck to everyone taking part in this year’s Asian Professional Awards. I know that what got you here was a lot of hard work, dedication and focus.

It won’t always have been easy. For many years, Britain’s professional sectors have seemed closed off to people from certain backgrounds. Finally, that is changing. It’s talented people like you that are helping to make that happen.

Your achievements are all your own. But, in many ways, you’re standing on the shoulders of those British Asians who, for generations, have strived to make their mark on this country.

What they and you have helped to create is a modern, diverse and open nation – proud of the rich mix of cultural influences that make us who we are: a global leader in business, education and research, the arts, sport and culture.

Enjoy tonight, and keep up the great work. Britain is a better country for it.

—Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats