DECLARATION: MP Alok Sharma
ALOK SHARMA, the Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, has pledged to do more to engage with the black and ethnic minorities to increase votes.
A recent study showed that 68 percent of the black and minority ethnic (BME) votes went to the Labour Party with a mere 16 percent going to the Conservative Party in 2010.
But many have long argued that ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom share the same values held by the Conservative Party.
Sharma, who currently holds a special responsibility for community engagement, told The Voice: “When you think about the values held by ethnic minorities I think they are more aligned with the Conservative Party than the other parties.”
He declared that he wants to take on a challenge to engage with the whole community saying: “It was essential that the party engages with all community.
“I think people will only take you seriously when you engage with them on a long term and constituent basis,” Sharma said following a comment made by former Conservative Chair, Sayeda Warsi, for the party to entice more black voters.
Baroness Warsi, who was left out in the recent cabinet reshuffle, said: “Britain’s migrant communities are key to our future. Who better to sell Britain to the world than our diverse communities? Who better to rebalance our economy and accelerate recovery?”
The Reading MP, who was born in India, seized the opportunity to urge the people of Croydon North to vote for Andy Stranack - the Conservative candidate - on Thursday (November 29).
The by-election was called following the death of Malcolm Wicks.
Sharma said: “Andy Stranack is an outstanding, hard-working and thoroughly decent local man committed to tackling injustice and poverty and he has demonstrated that commitment through all his local community work in the area.
“Andy would be a strong voice for Croydon North in Parliament and I urge everyone to support him.”
Stranack faces Labour Candidate Steve Reed, UKIP’s Winston McKenzie, Respect’s Lee Jasper, Green’s Sasha Khan and Liberal Democrat’s Marisha Ray.