02/12/2011 10:17 GMT

Jeremy Clarkson Receives Boris Johnson's Support Over 'Shooting Strikers' Remark

Jeremy Clarkson might have received more than 20,000 complaints when he joked public sector strikers should be "shot in front of their families," but the Top Gear presenter has received support from Boris Johnson.

The Mayor of London told LBC radio presenter Nick Ferrari that he did not necessarily agree with Clarkson's language but supported his sentiments.

"What he was trying to say was, look in tough times, when you've got a real need for pension reform, is it really necessary to try to paralyse the country and stop vital services? I think that was the point."

Clarkson has apologised for his comments, made on BBC One's The One Show on Wednesday: "I didn’t for a moment intend these remarks to be taken seriously – as I believe is clear if they’re seen in context," he said."If the BBC and I have caused any offence, I’m quite happy to apologise for it alongside them."

As public sector workers took to the streets over a pensions dispute, Clarkson said: "I'd have them all shot...

"I'd take them outside and execute them in front of their families."

He added: "How dare they go on strike when they've got these gilt edge pensions when the rest of us have to work for a living."

Boris Johnson spoke out against Wednesday's strikes in the Daily Telegraph in November, writing "we can say with utter certainty that this kind of general and wilful disruption is the last thing we need."