Campaigners for ethnic minorities at risk of becoming stateless after the handover have hired a lobbyist in the UK to push for full British citizenship. The Indian Resources Group said it was considering a campaign to have a private member's bill introduced in the House of Commons. Its move came after the Hong Kong Government refused to compile a register of members of ethnic minorities who do not hold passports allowing them to live overseas. The Government estimates about 8,000 people who are not of Chinese origin risk becoming stateless after July 1 next year. Group spokesman Ravi Gidumal said the number could be made more accurate by sending letters to those identified in the government survey and asking if they had right of abode elsewhere. He said the community was disappointed with the Government's refusal to hold a registration exercise, estimated at costing a few million dollars. 'They are now putting a price tag on solving our problem,' said Mr Gidumal. He said if a register could show that the number of people who would become stateless was low, the British Government might be more willing to grant them citizenship. The group has hired public affairs consultants Laura Sandys Associates to heighten media and public awareness of the issue. Independent legislator Christine Loh Kung-wai, who estimated the campaign would cost around $400,000, said it was not feasible to lobby through the Hong Kong Government Office in London. 'I think that everybody agrees that in Hong Kong this is one of the things the British must tie up before they leave,' she said. Mr Gidumal said the group would seek to put the plight of the stateless on the agenda at the Labour and Conservative party conventions. Prime Minister John Major has said ethnic minorities could move to Britain only if they encountered political pressure after the handover.