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Tories issue guidelines on how to eat with minority voters

RIVETING: Tory members try to stay awake while listening to a Theresa May address at the Conservative annual conference in October (PA)

CONSERVATIVE MEMBERS are getting tips on how to win over ethnic minorities and culturally engage with them from a new guide issued by the party’s headquarters.

The “community engagement guides” have been given to members to try to increase the party’s share of BME votes ahead of the 2015 elections.

The four-page guide was published after an Operation Black Vote Study found that Britain’s ethnic minority vote may determine the next election.

The first group of guides, aimed at helping Tory activists win the support of Bangladeshi, Chinese, Pakistani, Pakistani and Indian voters, outlines information about where the communities are based and their cultural values.

AUDIENCE: Tory members listen to a David Cameron speech during the Conservative annual conference in Birmingham in October (PA)

It also contains details of basic etiquette such as “If eating with chopsticks, please be aware it is impolite to skewer food, to gesture or point,” and “please be aware that some Muslim women may not wish to shake hands with members of the opposite sex”.

In a foreword to the guides, Alok Sharma MP, the Conservatives’ vice-chairman for community engagement, said the guides were designed to help party supporters “to reach out to voters from all backgrounds”.

He added: “This information is designed to support you in your local constituency campaigning.”

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