The Education Secretary Michael Gove has said that he believes there is no need for the BBC to terminate its contract with Jeremy Clarkson, after unbroadcast footage of the Top Gear presenter allegedly using the racist term ‘n*****r’ while reciting a nursery rhyme was leaked to the media.
“As I understand Jeremy Clarkson has apologised, the word in question is horrendous and shouldn’t be used,” he said on Good Morning Britain.
“It seems to me this was a word he never intended to mutter, never intended to broadcast, he’s been clear in his apology and I think we should leave the matter there.”
His comments comes after a spokesperson for Prime Minister David Cameron, who is friends with Clarkson, said the use of the ‘n-word’ was “quite wrong”.
“If there are these reports and allegations, I am sure that is something the BBC would look at.”
The BBC has since described the incident as “regrettable”.
“We have left him in no doubt about how seriously we view this,” a statement from the broadcaster read.
In it, he admitted to having used the word, but said he did “everything in my power” not to.
“I'm sitting here begging your forgiveness for the fact my efforts obviously weren't quite good enough, thank you,” he said in the film.
Footage of the offending comments was published on The Mirror’s website yesterday. In it, he recites the well-known children’s rhyme, apparently mumbling, “Catch a n****r by his toe.” He initially dismissed the clip, writing on Twitter:
“I did not use the N-word. Never use it. The Mirror has gone way too far this time.”
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