Tory activists attack party's ethnic minority failures

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Tory party needs more ethnic minority support, Kasumu argues
Tory party needs more ethnic minority support, Kasumu argues

The Conservatives' failure to win over ethnic minority voters has come under fire from Tory activists.

A book set to be published next month by Samuel Kasumu, who sits on the management board of the Tory Reform Group, will also claim David Cameron's 'big society' project is failing to capture the imagination of the masses.

Winning The Race will criticise the government's limited support of charities and not-for-profit organisations.

"The new big society philosophy under the coalition has created limited opportunities for community groups which of course is a great paradox," it argues.


"The big society still has the potential to empower us all to further engage with our own communities.

"But this will only happen when the government supports those that have been doing big society things way before it was a big idea."

Spending cuts have undermined the coalition's ability to support the big society, leaving many charities warning that Cameron's vision has been fatally undermined.

The Tory party has increased its number of ethnic minority MPs from two to 11, while the 2010 general election saw 16% of ethnic minority voters back the Conservatives - up from a previous record of 12%.

But Kasumu told politics.co.uk he believes the party's policies are more important than "tokenistic members in parliament", prompting the critique of relevant coalition policies including the big society and the welfare to work programme.

Kasumu blames a "lack of clear policy that demonstrates true compassion and fairness", rather than Tory values, for the disconnect with ethnic minority voters.

"We must recognise that in the years ahead, ethnic minority communities will form a larger part of the overall make-up of the population," he urged.

"We therefore must begin to build relationships that have so far been nonexistent."

The TRG has previously received praise from David Cameron and currently boasts justice secretary Ken Clarke as its president.

Phone calls seeking to establish the extent to which the TRG endorsed Kasumu's views were not immediately returned.

Kasumu said the TRG has not officially endorsed the contents of the book, but is preparing to explore the themes and issues it raises in more detail.

The book's afterword by Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the right-wing Bow Group think-tank, offered his support to its arguments. He encourages the party to identify leaders from black and Asian communities that could one day be elected into parliament.

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