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Conservatives face 'biggest challenge' in wooing BME voters

Conservatives face 'biggest challenge' in wooing BME voters

Categories: Latest News

Wednesday February 19 2014

The Financial Times (£) today reports on the frustration expressed by a Conservative Cabinet Minister concerned for the party’s lacking appeal to ethnic minorities in the run up to the local elections in May and the general election next year.

Despite appointing Alok Sharma MP vice chairman of the party for BME Communities and Priti Patel MP, to lead outreach to the Indian diaspora, an unnamed Cabinet Minister tells the FT that winning over ethnic voters is the “biggest challenge” facing the party.

The FT notes that Cameron has “backed ‘community’ guides to chivvy Tory MPs out of the golf club and into local mosques” but fears that layering messages to voters may ‘muddy the waters’ is tempering efforts to attract BME voters.

The Cabinet Minister is quoted as saying “The Conservative party will become ever more electorally unviable if it doesn’t take its problem with BME voters seriously. 

“When a major part of the community believes they are excluded from [a Conservative] vision, purely because of their colour or ethnicity, addressing that problem is central.”

Peter Oborne, in a blog posted during Conservative party conference last autumn wrote that “The Tories are failing to connect with Muslim voters.”

It would seem the party is yet to take to heart the importance of upping its game to broaden its appeal. A point made in The Times last week by Rachel Sylvester in her comment piece on the Cabinet rift that has formed over changes to stop and search powers.


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