Gordon Brown heaped praise on the Muslim community at a reception in Downing Street to mark the festival of Eid.

The Prime Minister used the Islamic greeting “Asalaam Alaikum Alaykum” - peace be upon you - before telling the guests they had helped to achieve a stronger society, culture and economy.

He said: “I’m very proud that we are able to have this celebration here this evening to mark the great festival and at the same time to mark so much that is done by so many people in this room to make our country so strong.

”We are able to celebrate achievements that have been possible because of the people in this room.

”We are a stronger society, we are a better economy, we’ve got a stronger culture, we’ve got a stronger community as a result of what you individually and as groups of people have done, both in your own communities and throughout our own country.”

Mr Brown also praised Glasgow Central MP Mohammad Sarwar, Transport Minister Sadiq Khan and Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik.

He continued: “What binds us all together is that we share the same basic and fundamental values. Whatever our individual religions, each of us believes that we have a responsibility to each other.

”Working together we can not only change the face of Britain and make it a better, fairer, more diverse, and stronger for it’s diversity, but we can also change the world.”

By Joe Sinclair