Cheryl Baker from pop group Bucks Fizz has defended documentary maker Stacey Dooley after she was accused of being a “white saviour” by Labour MP David Lammy.
Dooley posted pictures on her Instagram page of her trip, captioning one picture with a young boy: "OB.SESSSSSSSSSSED".
Mr Lammy responded by tweeting the world did "not need any more white saviours".
Baker, who went to Ethiopia in 1998 with Red Cross, has said she was a “big fan” of Dooley, and that celebrities go on these trips because people “know” them.
She told talkRADIO’s Eamonn Holmes: “The whole point was that I was a celebrity and people knew me. I went over there because there is a great deal of twins that have a high rate of infant mortality because of where they live. And, I had twins so I was the face that was sent over to bring it to the public.
“The whole point is not about whether she is white, black, green or purple – it is the fact that she is a celebrity. She is in the public eye and people want to watch her.
“She is a great journalist and she makes great documentaries. I am a big fan of Stacey Dooley. I think she is brilliant.”
Dr Kehinde Andrews from Birmingham City University disagreed saying it was not “an accident” that Stacey Dooley is white.
The Professor of Black Studies told Eamonn: “It is not an accident that she is white and there is a long history of this paternalist racism from the empire.
“There is this idea of the ‘white man burden’ and ‘white saviours’ – that it is white people who have the responsibility and the power to fix all the problems of these savage African children.”
He added that people send money to “relieve their guilt”.
“It is not an individual attack on people and it is not telling people not to visit places but we have to say that the bigger problem is the whole industry of it and how it is wrapped up in the legacy of empire,” he said.
“The whole idea that you need these celebrities to make you give money is terrible. You should give money because you think it is a good idea to give money.”
Baker described Dr Andrews’ response as “narrow-minded”.
“People support charities because it touches their heart,” she added.
“It is nothing to do with colonialism and colour, it is about helping people. I can’t believe how narrow-minded this is.”