British Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered a drive to increase the number of black and Asian Conservative parliamentary candidates.
The move comes amid fears within the Tory Party that its unpopularity among ethnic minorities could prove disastrous at the next election.
Cameron has told his colleagues that he regarded building support among voters from immigrant backgrounds as the biggest challenge facing the Tories in their quest to 'detoxify' their image among large sections of the community, the Independent reports.
According to the report, senior party figures have pointed to last month's defeat of Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who was largely shunned by black and Hispanic voters, in the US presidential election as a warning of the costs of ignoring Britain's rapid demographic shifts.
One Conservative MP in a marginal urban seat said that his party faced an 'existential' challenge in responding to the country's changing ethnic make-up, the report said.
MPs and candidates are being given advice on how to engage with non-white communities by regularly attending key events, being urged to increase their presence in ethnic minority newspapers, radio programmes and television bulletins and to gain expertise on issues that particularly affect such groups, the report added.
According to the report, the Tories said they were basing the strategy on the success of the governing Conservative Party of Canada, which boosted its electoral fortunes partly by increasing its support among voters born outside the country. (ANI)