Labour calls for BBC to sack 'racist' Jeremy Clarkson

Clarkson: Facing demands to go, but supported by PM
Clarkson: Facing demands to go, but supported by PM
Adam Bienkov By

The BBC should no longer host Jeremy Clarkson and his "obnoxious" and "racist" views, a Labour frontbencher suggested today.

Labour's shadow transport secretary Michael Dugher told a conference in London that the Top Gear presenter held views which belonged to "the Stone Age."

"Should they put Jeremy Clarkson back on the telly? If you Google on the Telegraph [website] Jeremy Clarkson they do this thing called '[Clarkson's] top ten gaffes' and I defy any reasonable person to read those and describe them as gaffes.

"When you look at it actually there's a consistent pattern of pretty obnoxious, racist behaviour and the idea that it should be on a publicly funded public service broadcaster. This is for the Stone Age."

This is not the first time Dugher has criticised Clarkson. Even before allegations emerged that Clarkson had assaulted a BBC producer, Dugher described him as "basically an idiot."

Reflecting on his comments today, Dugher said his opinion of Clarkson was now even lower.

"Describing Jeremy Clarkson as an idiot was in hindsight a bit of a compliment."

Dugher's comments stand in stark contrasts to those made over the past week by the prime minister and other leading Conservatives.

David Cameron spoke warmly of his "friend" whose suspension by the BBC would disappoint his own children, while Maria Miller described Clarkson as a "legend."

However, Dugher added that Labour did need to do more to reach out to motorists.

"I think for years there was an image of Labour that we demonised the motorist and that we were anti-motorist.

"I'd like people to make less car journeys but we're not going to get rid of the car.

"And what happens in central London is not the transport reality in the rest of the country."

"We should have an offer for road users and we should be proud of wanting to support motorists. But the stereotype that motorists are... these Jeremy Clarkson macho petrolheads is a nonsense."


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