A DUP MP has been referred to the Westminster Standards Commissioner following a Facebook post in which he criticised the “BBC at its BLM worst” (Black Lives Matter) over the ethnic make-up of a Songs of Praise gospel show.
East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell made the comment in a January 31 post.
It stated: “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 5 singers, all of them black. There were 3 judges all of them black and one presenter who incidentally was, 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.”
North West Migrants Forum, an organisation that helps the black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities in Northern Ireland, said it was “deeply worrying” that Campbell was able to “confidently display such conscious and unconscious bias on his social media page”.
They added: “His implicit comments enabled the explicit racism below his post, legitimising explicit white supremacism from the Donald Trump playbook. It is abhorrent and irresponsible. Mr Campbell should withdraw those comments and reflect on his own actions and attitudes toward difference.”
On Sunday evening, around 1,500 people had signed the Forum’s online statement. The DUP have been approached for comment but have not yet released one.
Sinn Féin’s Caoimhe Archibald, a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), called on the DUP to “take action” against their MP, adding “there can be no place for racism in society”.
She added: “Gregory Campbell’s disgraceful comments don’t reflect the views of vast majority of the constituents he’d purport to represent.
“Racism, systemic and explicit, needs to be challenged and called out at every opportunity. I have reported these comments to the Westminster Standards Commissioner.
“The DUP need to take action following these offensive comments.”