Jeremy Clarkson suspended: Half of British public think Top Gear presenter should be sacked

Jeremy Clarkson was suspended for allegedly punching a Top Gear producer

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The Independent Culture

In the face of a hugely popular online petition calling for the BBC to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson and support from the Prime Minister, a YouGov poll has found that almost half of the British public believe he should be sacked.

The BBC announced earlier this week that it had suspended the Top Gear presenter following a “fracas” with a producer.

Reports in The Sun and The Mirror have since emerged alleging that Clarkson punched Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon, after he was not served a steak at Simonstone Hall Hotel near Hawes, North Yorkshire, where the crew were staying after filming. Clarkson, who last year said he received his 'final warning' from the BBC after he used a racial slur, has laughed off his latest controversy. He told reporters he was “just off to the job centre”, but said he has regrets about what happened.

A YouGov poll of 780 UK adults conducted yesterday revealed that 45 per cent believe Clarkson should be sacked over the alleged incident, while 36 percent believe he should keep his job.

It also showed that just over 50 per cent of Conservative voters (52 per cent) believe he should not be sacked, while almost 60 per cent of Labour voters believe the BBC should axe Clarkson.

In comparison, 45 per cent of Ukip voters believe he should not be sacked, and 40 per cent of Lib Dems.

Further proving Clarkson's enduring popularity, 78 per cent of very frequent Top Gear viewers are firmly opposed to his dismissal, while fairly frequent viewers tend to oppose this by a smaller margin (49 to 32 per cent).