The culture minister has defended asking the organisers of the Belfast Festival at Queen’s to include pro-Israeli views and Christian music.

Nelson McCausland’s demands were made in an e-mail to the director of the Belfast Festival, which was obtained through a freedom of information request.

Mr McCausland said he would like “some southern gospel music” included.

He also wanted “a view sympathetic to Israel in any relevant talk or debate”.

Mr McCausland, who became the culture minister in June 2009, attended a dinner with the vice chancellor of Queen’s to discuss this year’s festival programme.

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