DUP ‘committed to racial equality’ after MP's ‘race-baiting’ remarks

Dup ‘Committed To Racial Equality’ After Mp's ‘Race-Baiting’ Remarks Dup ‘Committed To Racial Equality’ After Mp's ‘Race-Baiting’ Remarks
Arlene Foster said the DUP is 'totally, absolutely committed to racial equality'. Photo: PA
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By Michael McHugh, PA

The DUP is “absolutely committed” to racial equality, Arlene Foster said.

Gregory Campbell, the MP for East Derry, has been accused of “race-baiting” after describing the number of black people on an edition of Songs of Praise as “the BBC at its BLM [Black Lives Matter] worst”.

Anti-racism and ethnic minority campaigners have called on Mr Campbell to apologise.

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Ms Foster said: “It is not a sentiment that I identify with, as someone who actually does enjoy Songs of Praise every Sunday and the diversity that is exhibited thereupon.”

She told the Northern Ireland Assembly: “We are totally, absolutely committed to racial equality.”


The five semi-finalists, judges and presenter of the programme Mr Campbell referred to were all of a black ethnicity.

He wrote in an online post:  “There were five singers, all of them black. There were three judges all of them black and one presenter who was incidentally, yes black.

“The singers were all very good but can you imagine an all white line up with an all white jury and presented by a white person? No I can’t either.”

Gregory Campbell. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

The North West Migrants Forum, covering Mr Campbell’s constituency, said they were “astonishing and shocking” comments.

It said black and ethnic minority people are equal citizens in an increasingly diverse country, including in Mr Campbell’s constituency.

“He needs to withdraw his ignorant and insulting post and make a full public apology to the black and minority ethnic community of his constituency and beyond.”

It added that Ms Foster should ensure her MP was held accountable for his words.

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“Failure to do so will mean the words of that Executive vision [of a united community] will ring hollow.

“Meanwhile, we commit ourselves to challenging racism and building a society that fully respects and celebrates diversity.”

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