Jeremy Clarkson has criticised the BBC’s decision to overturn the ruling against Naga Munchetty after she suggested US president Donald Trump was racist.
The 59-year-old presenter has claimed the reverse decision from BBC director general Tony Hall had thrown BBC’s chief of editorial policy, David Jordan, ‘under the bus’.
In his Sunday Times column, Clarkson wrote: ‘What disturbs me most all about this sorry saga is that the BBC has thrown its chief of editorial policy, a man called David Jordan, under the bus.
‘People complained after the Munchetty ruling that the [editorial policy] police were not considering what the situation felt like for a woman of colour. The truth is, though, that when they come to do their job, they don’t see colour.
‘They just see a BBC News person implying the president of America is racist.’
He added: ‘There may be only a few hundred people in the country who think Munchetty is wrong.
‘But it is not the BBC’s job to ignore them or their views, abhorrent though they may be.’
Back in July, Munchetty called out the US president after a series of tweets in response to four Democratic congresswomen who were outspoken about his immigration policies.
Responding to the tweets which called for the women to ‘go back’ to the ‘places from which they came’, Naga recalled her own experiences of being told to ‘go home’ in the UK.
‘Everytime I’ve been told as a woman of colour to “go home”, to “go back to where I’ve come from”, that was embedded in racism,’ Naga said.
‘Now I’m not accusing anyone of anything here but you know what certain phrases mean.’
The BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) ruled the comments ‘went beyond what the guidelines allow for’ in regards to impartiality, only for the decision to be overturned five days later.
In a message to BBC staff on the topic, Hall wrote: ‘It was only ever in a limited way that there was found to be a breach of our guidelines. These are often finely balanced and difficult judgements.
‘But, in this instance, I don’t think Naga’s words were sufficient enough to merit a partial uphold of the complaint around the comments she made.
‘There was never any sanction against Naga and I hope this step makes that absolutely clear. She is an exceptional journalist and presenter and I am proud that she works for the BBC.’
Clarkson’s relationship with the BBC famously fell apart after he punched a crew member of Top Gear while filming, in a row over food.
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