Gordon Brown yesterday moved to help bring the violence in Kenya to an end, securing support for a peace initiative by Commonwealth and African leaders.

As the death toll since last week's disputed election climbed past 200, the Prime Minister sought international assistance for reconciliation efforts between the country's political leaders.

In telephone conversations, Mr Brown appealed to Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga for a stop to the violence.

Yesterday he spoke to Ghanaian president John Kufuor, chair of the African Union, and Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, head of the Commonwealth observer mission in Kenya, about over-seeing a process of reconciliation.

Thousands of British tourists in Kenya were being advised yesterday to stay indoors with post-election violence set to continue.

The Foreign Office is advising against all but essential travel to areas of the East African country's two biggest towns.

Mr Brown said: "What I want to see is them coming together, I want to see talks and I want to see reconciliation and unity.

"I want to see the possibility explored where they can come together in Government. The reason is the violence must come to an end."

After Mr Brown's talks with Mr Kufuor and Dr Kabbah, a former president of Sierra Leone, a Downing Street official said: "They agreed on the urgent need to establish a process of reconciliation in Kenya facilitated by the Commonwealth and the African Union.

"As the European Union observer mission has said, the Kenyan electoral process has fallen short of international standards.

"We remain in close contact with our international partners, and as the Prime Minister has said this morning the violence must end, there must be talks and we want to see reconciliation and unity."

Kenyans ventured out in search of food yesterday when the mood was calmer than it has been in recent days, although skirmishes continued.

Since Saturday, at least 202 people have been killed in riots that flared from the shantytowns of Nairobi to resort towns on the sweltering coast.

Yesterday a mob attacked and set fire to a church where hundreds of people had taken refuge from post-election violence, killing at least 15 people, police and a witness said.

"There was a huge mob; they attacked the church," said the witness in Eldoret, some 185 miles from the capital, Nairobi. "We counted 15 to 20 bodies."

Among places the Foreign Office was continuing to warn Britons not to travel to except in essential circumstances were Nairobi city centre and the town's Uhuru Park, as well as parts of Mombasa - the gateway to the Indian Ocean beach resort hotels.

Kenya receives about 29,000 British visitors each year. About 7,000 of them are now in the country, but there have been no reports of any being caught up in the violence.

The FO said: "The British High Commission officials continue to monitor the situation and travel advice will be updated at regular intervals.

"We recommend that you stay indoors. If you need to travel you should exercise extreme caution and seek advice locally."

Mr Kibaki is under increasing international and domestic pressure over the disputed election victory that kept him in power. The opposition claims the vote was rigged and observers say it was suspicious at best.

An interim report from EU monitors said the elections were "were marred by a lack of transparency in the processing and tallying of presidential results, which raises concerns about the accuracy of the final results".