“DUP ‘committed to racial equality’ and Gregory Campbell’s Songs of Praise comment ‘not a sentiment I identify with’, Arlene Foster says

Posted By: February 08, 2021

There has been a call for the DUP to remove the whip from Gregory Campbell following comments about the number of black people on the Songs of Praise TV program


Michael McHugh, Press Association. Irish News. Monday, February 8, 2021.


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


The party’s East Derry MP Gregory Campbell 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 Gregory Campbell to apologize. Read more


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 Assembly: “We are totally, absolutely committed to racial equality.”


The five semi-finalists, judges, and presenter of the program 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.”


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.

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


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