Harman urges BBC to sack Clarkson

Mid Devon Star: Jeremy Clarkson said he was "simply mumbling" and did not use a racist word Jeremy Clarkson said he was "simply mumbling" and did not use a racist word

Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman has called for the BBC to sack Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson over the use of the "n-word".

The shadow culture secretary said anybody who used the word "in whatever context" should have no place at the broadcaster.

Her intervention came after Education Secretary Michael Gove urged the corporation not to axe Clarkson.

In a Twitter post Ms Harman said: " Anybody who uses the N-word in public or private in whatever context has no place in the British Broadcasting Corporation."

Clarkson became embroiled in a racism row following claims that he used the n-word while reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe while shooting an episode of the BBC2 programme.

In the footage Clarkson is using the nursery rhyme to compare two sports cars. He said he "mumbled where the offensive word would normally occur" in two takes, and used the word "teacher" in its place in a third.

Last night he posted a video in which he said he " did everything in my power to not use that word" and was now " begging your forgiveness for the fact that obviously my efforts weren't quite good enough".

Mr Gove told ITV's Good Morning Britain that Clarkson's apology should draw a line under the row.

He said: " The word in question is horrendous and shouldn't be used but I have read Jeremy Clarkson's account in the papers today, his explanation, and it seems to me that this was a word that he never intended to utter, never intended to broadcast.

"He has been clear in his apology and I think we should leave matters there.

"But it is really important that all of us should appreciate that the use of this type of language is unacceptable and it is right that anyone who uses language like this, even in error, should apologise for doing so."

Asked if the PM shared his cabinet colleague's opinion, Mr Cameron's official spokesman said: "He does share the Education Secretary's view: it is absolutely right that there has been an apology."

Pressed on whether he also shared the view he should keep his job, he replied: "His view is that in terms of actions and the like, that's for the BBC."

As part of a series of apologies, Clarkson told The Sun: "I wish to God that my attempts to cover up that word were better than they were.

"I was simply mumbling - saying 'ner ner' or something similar, anything but the n-word. It was my mistake and I apologise for not covering it up. But if you look at the footage you can see what I'm trying to do."

In the video post on social media, a solemn-looking Clarkson said: "I was mortified by this, horrified. It is a word I loathe."

The BBC said it had "left him in no doubt about how seriously we view this".

The allegations were reported in yesterday's Daily Mirror, which claimed the footage was studied by audio forensic experts who told them the star can be heard mumbling "Catch a n***** by his toe'".

Clarkson had earlier tweeted: "I did not use the n-word. Never use it. The Mirror has gone way too far this time."

The claims come days after the motoring show's producer apologised for broadcasting a "light-hearted" joke by Clarkson that sparked a complaint of racism.

An episode, filmed in Burma and Thailand and shown in March, featured a scene in which the presenters built a bridge over the River Kwai, and as an Asian man walked over it Clarkson said: "That is a proud moment, but there's a slope on it."

Somi Guha, an actress who complained to the BBC, said the use of the word "slope" was an example of "casual racism" and "gross misconduct".

In recent years Clarkson has been cleared of breaching the broadcasting code by watchdog Ofcom after comparing a Japanese car to people with growths on their faces.

He previously faced a storm of protest from mental health charities after he branded people who throw themselves under trains as ''selfish'' and was forced to apologise for telling BBC1's The One Show that striking workers should be shot.

The motoring show has also faced complaints from Indian and Mexican politicians over remarks made about their countries while filming on location.

Comments (13)

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8:10am Fri 2 May 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

Oddly enough, the Mirror newspaper that broke this story about Clarkson's alleged use of the 'n-word' has, on more than one occasion used the 't-word' (i.e. "tranny") to describe transgender people. The Mirror also routinely prints misinformation with regard to transpeople and uses sensational headlines and reporting in order to discredit us.

Similary, Piers Morgan who jumped at the chance to attack his rival Clarkson on twitter, recently referred to a transwoman called Janet Mock in an interview as 'formerly male' and then claimed to be incredulous as to why this might prove offensive(!)

Transphobic critics of Clarkson who jump on the bandwaggon are seemingly unaware of their hypocrisy when rushing to occupy the moral high ground.
Oddly enough, the Mirror newspaper that broke this story about Clarkson's alleged use of the 'n-word' has, on more than one occasion used the 't-word' (i.e. "tranny") to describe transgender people. The Mirror also routinely prints misinformation with regard to transpeople and uses sensational headlines and reporting in order to discredit us. Similary, Piers Morgan who jumped at the chance to attack his rival Clarkson on twitter, recently referred to a transwoman called Janet Mock in an interview as 'formerly male' and then claimed to be incredulous as to why this might prove offensive(!) Transphobic critics of Clarkson who jump on the bandwaggon are seemingly unaware of their hypocrisy when rushing to occupy the moral high ground. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 5

2:42pm Fri 2 May 14

ChannelX says...

The Mirror is a truly horrible, nasty and despicable paper. It makes The Mail look positively delightful.

There's nothing as bitter, vicious and twisted as an arch Left-winger.
The Mirror is a truly horrible, nasty and despicable paper. It makes The Mail look positively delightful. There's nothing as bitter, vicious and twisted as an arch Left-winger. ChannelX
  • Score: 7

2:53pm Fri 2 May 14

Totton Tim says...

You have to wonder whether there will be offence taken somewhere by anything said at all. For example the word "slope"...is that offensive?? Maybe I've had a sheltered upbringing
You have to wonder whether there will be offence taken somewhere by anything said at all. For example the word "slope"...is that offensive?? Maybe I've had a sheltered upbringing Totton Tim
  • Score: 3

3:01pm Fri 2 May 14

hx3bantam says...

Clarkson is what he is - a 13 year old trapped in an old man's body. He never grew up. That doesn't mean to say he should be sacked though. The lengths they've gone to to bring this "offensive" remark to the public attention such as hiring audio forensics years after the event suggests the Mirror already had a divisive agenda. He's an oaf who plays with brum-brums but as far as I'm aware that's not a crime and that's what he gets paid for by the Beeb to do as there's millions of like-minded men and women who actually consider that entertainment. Each to their own!
Clarkson is what he is - a 13 year old trapped in an old man's body. He never grew up. That doesn't mean to say he should be sacked though. The lengths they've gone to to bring this "offensive" remark to the public attention such as hiring audio forensics years after the event suggests the Mirror already had a divisive agenda. He's an oaf who plays with brum-brums but as far as I'm aware that's not a crime and that's what he gets paid for by the Beeb to do as there's millions of like-minded men and women who actually consider that entertainment. Each to their own! hx3bantam
  • Score: -1

5:05pm Fri 2 May 14

Dready84 says...

I laugh at jokes about black people and I laugh at jokes about white people. Doesnt make me racist, some of my best friends are black and they laugh at jokes about black people too. Its all been blown well and truly out of proportion. Having a man beg for forgiveness from a country because of something he mumbled is more of a joke than the people who are criticising him for it.
I laugh at jokes about black people and I laugh at jokes about white people. Doesnt make me racist, some of my best friends are black and they laugh at jokes about black people too. Its all been blown well and truly out of proportion. Having a man beg for forgiveness from a country because of something he mumbled is more of a joke than the people who are criticising him for it. Dready84
  • Score: 6

5:59pm Fri 2 May 14

loan_star says...

Black people seem to have no issue using the N word when they talk to each other or "rap". Its a nursery rhyme people of Clarksons generation grew up with. People should just get a life, its not like he used it in a racist way.
Black people seem to have no issue using the N word when they talk to each other or "rap". Its a nursery rhyme people of Clarksons generation grew up with. People should just get a life, its not like he used it in a racist way. loan_star
  • Score: 8

6:09pm Fri 2 May 14

ShuttleX says...

Just goes to show that Harman will go to any lengths to get a vote. Bl00dy woman should look in a mirror before pointing fingers at others.
Just goes to show that Harman will go to any lengths to get a vote. Bl00dy woman should look in a mirror before pointing fingers at others. ShuttleX
  • Score: 7

7:17pm Fri 2 May 14

welshmen says...

Now if Jezza had supported Paedophile's, supported the lowering of consent for sex to fourteen and decriminalising incest then Harriet Harman would recommend Jezza for an MBE, because this is what she supported some years ago, leave Jezza alone he makes more people laugh than cry....and we all know he was out of order mumbling the "N" word.....
Now if Jezza had supported Paedophile's, supported the lowering of consent for sex to fourteen and decriminalising incest then Harriet Harman would recommend Jezza for an MBE, because this is what she supported some years ago, leave Jezza alone he makes more people laugh than cry....and we all know he was out of order mumbling the "N" word..... welshmen
  • Score: 9

7:50pm Fri 2 May 14

juwhite says...

I was brought up reciting that rhyme, with golli##gs and reading at school a book called little black sambo. Now all these things are deemed offensive but by whom. Most coloured people I know are not. Isn't it ironic that these things can cause more trouble widening the divide. It's okay for people to make out that all people from Somerset, devon and cornwall talk and are yokels and idiots, call the French frogs, Germans Krauts. WORLD GONE MAD!!
I was brought up reciting that rhyme, with golli##gs and reading at school a book called little black sambo. Now all these things are deemed offensive but by whom. Most coloured people I know are not. Isn't it ironic that these things can cause more trouble widening the divide. It's okay for people to make out that all people from Somerset, devon and cornwall talk and are yokels and idiots, call the French frogs, Germans Krauts. WORLD GONE MAD!! juwhite
  • Score: 6

10:18pm Fri 2 May 14

MSG says...

If I was to say this rhyme nowadays what word do you use now ? if we cant do the rhyme then who will get the job of buying the first round ?

Regarding racism. If an ethnic non-white person builds a snowman next winter will white people start complaining in years to come as they become the minority in the UK. After all our noses do not look like carrots an we are not all fat and round.

The whole thing is a mountain out of a molehill and being driven by the far left i.e. The Mirror and HH !!!!
If I was to say this rhyme nowadays what word do you use now ? if we cant do the rhyme then who will get the job of buying the first round ? Regarding racism. If an ethnic non-white person builds a snowman next winter will white people start complaining in years to come as they become the minority in the UK. After all our noses do not look like carrots an we are not all fat and round. The whole thing is a mountain out of a molehill and being driven by the far left i.e. The Mirror and HH !!!! MSG
  • Score: 2

10:26pm Fri 2 May 14

Its Granola - Granola says...

Yes its a nursery rhyme ,black people laugh at black jokes , the MIRROR is only fit for toilet paper, life goes on . But Clarkson is a TW-T anyway and should be sacked on the strength of it .
Yes its a nursery rhyme ,black people laugh at black jokes , the MIRROR is only fit for toilet paper, life goes on . But Clarkson is a TW-T anyway and should be sacked on the strength of it . Its Granola - Granola
  • Score: -2

7:49am Sat 3 May 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

Oh, and another thing...considering the recent scandal over Harman and the P.I.E. organisation with the widespread suggestions that she should be expelled from the Labour Party one might have assumed that it would have been wiser for her to keep quiet on this one - just sayin'.
Oh, and another thing...considering the recent scandal over Harman and the P.I.E. organisation with the widespread suggestions that she should be expelled from the Labour Party one might have assumed that it would have been wiser for her to keep quiet on this one - just sayin'. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 3

2:37pm Sat 3 May 14

Chippy70 says...

So, do I take it we are never going to see reruns of "Love Thy Neighbour" then?
So, do I take it we are never going to see reruns of "Love Thy Neighbour" then? Chippy70
  • Score: 1
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