Stormont Justice Minister Naomi Long has described comments made by DUP MP Gregory Campbell on the the number of black people on an edition of Songs Of Praise as "bizarre".

Mr 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".

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."

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

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 party leader Arlene 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 challenging racism and building a society that fully respects and celebrates diversity." 

Ms Foster has said the DUP are "absolutely committed" to racial equality.

Mrs 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."

Ms Long, leader of the Alliance Party, said the comments by Mr Campbell were "not only reprehensible and racist" but "also quite bizarre".

She said the "test will really be how parties individually deal with those issues within their own ranks.

"We have a job of work to do in terms of showing leadership within our own organisation, within our own ranks, in terms of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable," she said.

"Of course people have the right to freedom of speech, but it doesn't come free of responsibility and indeed consequences."

Mr Campbell has said he had been subjected to the "vilest of abuse" following media coverage of his comments.

He denied an accusation of "race-baiting" and said no-one raised any issue with the remarks he made on his Facebook page for days after he posted them following the programme on Sunday 31 January.

Mr Campbell said the BBC website says it is committed to reflecting the diversity of the UK, but added: "There wasn't much diversity or inclusion in that edition of Songs Of Praise, that's what I was getting at."

He told the BBC: "There wasn't a single critical comment for five and a half days after I put that up on my public page on Facebook, not a single critical comment until Saturday, then on Saturday there was this contrived controversy which has escalated over the weekend into the vilest of abuse."