DUP MP Gregory Campbell faces criticism after Songs of Praise race comments

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has come under fire for “tone deaf” comments on social media about the representation of black people on BBC TV programme Songs of Praise.

By Niall Deeney
Sunday, 7th February 2021, 1:12 pm
Updated Sunday, 7th February 2021, 8:50 pm
DUP MP Gregory Campbell .
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
DUP MP Gregory Campbell . Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

In a Facebook post, the DUP MP wrote: “Just watched BBC TV Songs of Praise which this week was Gospel Singer of the year semi final.

“This I’m afraid was BBC at it’s BLM worst. There were five singers, all of them black. There were 3 judges all of them black and one presenter who incidentally was, yes black.”

Mr Campbell continued: “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.”

In a statement issued by the North West Migrants Forum, which has been co-signed by a number of anti-racism organisations including United Against Racism and the Belfast Multi-Culutral Association, his comments were described as “shocking”.

“It is both astonishing and shocking that Mr Campbell watched this deeply moving edition of Songs of Praise, full of love and praise for God, and saw only skin colour,” the statement said.

SDLP MLA Cara Hunter also condemned the DUP MP, saying: “I’m unaware of any previous issues he has raised about the under representation of BAME people, women or others in mainstream media programmes but this appeal for the plight of white people on Songs of Praise is totally tone deaf.”

She continued: “It is appalling to see the Black Lives Matter movement, which has campaigned for justice for an oppressed minority, used by an attention seeking MP with clearly very little else to do.

“The DUP Leadership should seriously consider reigning Gregory Campbell in for his latest series of appalling comments.”

The DUP has been approached for comment.