Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has defended a group of Morris dancers who 'blacked up' for a performance, insisting they are not racist.
The group, from Alvechurch in Worcestershire, were jeered during a performance in Birmingham city centre on Saturday.
Footage has emerged online of passers-by accusing the dancers of ‘mocking black people’, sparking a heated debate on social media.
And Mr Javid, whose constituency is in Worcestershire, said he was “proud” of the group, who were celebrating Plough Monday – the traditional start of the farming year.
In a post on Twitter, he wrote: "Proud of traditional Morris dancers from Alvechurch (in my constituency). They are as racist as I am. #PloughMonday."
Police are investigating an allegation of abuse aimed at the Morris dancers.