When the BBC’s director-general Tony Hall announced he had overturned the ruling about Naga Munchetty last week, the decision was met with a largely positive response, with the corporation having already come under fire for declaring that the BBC Breakfast host had breached their guidelines around impartiality.
One person who isn’t happy, though, is former BBC employee Jeremy Clarkson.
Clarkson – best known for presenting Top Gear before he was sacked – penned a column in the Sunday Times lambasting Tony Hall for overturning the decision, suggesting he’d thrown the BBC’s chief of editorial policy “under the bus”.
He 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.”
Clarkson continued: “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.”
In 2015, Clarkson’s relationship with the BBC ended after he punched a member of the Top Gear crew while filming on location, following a row about catering.
His former BBC colleague John Humphrys has also been critical of the “muddled” way that the corporation handled the matter, but the ex-Today host did say that Naga had been “absolutely entitled” to make her comments about US president Donald Trump.
Back in July, Naga responded to Trump’s tweets suggesting four Democratic politicians should “go back” to their home countries during a live broadcast of BBC Breakfast, saying she was “absolutely furious”.
She said: “Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism.
“Now, I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean.”
The tweets in question had been written about US politicians Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. All four are US citizens, and three of them were born in America.