Shaun Bailey, one of the prime minister's only black advisers, has said Britain is still a "fairly racist country," in a revealing interview where he admits the Tories "haven't been brilliant around race."
The Conservatives still have crucial questions to answer regarding the party's attitude towards ethnic minority voters, Bailey said.
"You are in a fairly racist country. It's a fact. It's not as racist as America, but there's a lot of racism in this country. That is a fact," he told a Telegraph podcast.
David Cameron (right) with Shaun Bailey, who has said Britain is a racist country
"The Conservatives haven't been brilliant around race," he said. "They've had questions to [answer] and many of the questions they haven't answered."
Bailey, who was a member of Cameron's inner circle until he was moved to the Cabinet Office, has alleged that he was squeezed out of his job to make room for an influx of old Etonians earlier this year.
After he was given a part-time role in the Cabinet Office, he reportedly told friends it was because he was "different," according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.
Bailey told his friends that the PM's advisers had no interest in diversity and were heavily conditioned by a public school mindset, the report revealed.
Now, he has spoken out after a survey revealed Britain's minority ethnic vote might determine the outcome of the 2015 election.
Bailey said many black people do not vote for Tories because the party was associated with "the establishment."
However, he added the party faces many more deeply-rooted issues and that members need to talk about race and be more welcoming if the Tories want to increase their share of the minority ethnic vote.
"We need to speak about race. Our weakness is we don't talk about it," he said.
"If we don't talk about it, the other side get to tell everyone what you believe about it. We need not to be afraid about it."
Discussing his role in politics, Bailey said: "I want to show you can be of my race and my class and be a front bench member, a back bench member, a fully paid up member of the Conservative party.
"I think for our social progress it’s very important," he said.