The Government has been urged to consider ways of tackling the shortage of curry chefs in the county.

Immigration rule changes have made it harder for restaurants to recruit skilled staff from outside the European Union and Labour's Michael Foster, the MP for Hastings and Rye, wants ministers to look at the problem in detail.

In a Commons early day motion, he said the curry industry had made a huge contribution to the society and economy in the UK.

Chicken tikka masala is now often hailed as the true dish of Britain and is among the favourites ordered in restaurants.

Mr Foster called for the Government to consult with other EU countries about whether specialist chefs could be included in the points-based highly skilled migrants programme.

At present chefs are often unable to attain sufficient points to be permitted to work in the UK, which is hampering recruitment from Bangladesh.

Mr Foster also called on the Government to promote the training of curry chefs within the UK's Bangladeshi community as an immediate measure and to extend visas for professional chefs already working in the UK.

The motion has been backed by Tory Peter Bottomley, the MP for Worthing West.