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BBC Ofcom Unison

Ofcom rules Clarkson’s comment that strikers should be ‘shot’ was not in breach of guidelines – see full letter


By The Drum Team, Editorial

February 20, 2012 | 2 min read

Ofcom has said that Jeremy Clarkson’s jokey comments on BBC’s The One Show on 30 November that striking public sector workers should be shot was not in breach of the broadcast code.

A letter from Christopher Woolard of Ofcom, written to Bronwyn McKenna, assistant general secretary at Ofcom, was published on the Ofcom website, explaining why the comments did not constitute a breach.

Unison had been calling for Clarkson to be sacked after he made the comments about the public sector strike.

The letter looks at concerns raised by McKenna in a letter to Ofcom, including the claim that the producer of the BBC programme was aware in advance of comments which would be made, and so the remarks were ‘pre-approved and endorsed by the BBC’. Woolard replied: “The production team discussed the issues with Mr Clarkson before going on air and in fact advised him that it would not be appropriate to make the sort of remarks he later went on to say.”

He added that the letter was being made public because of the ‘wider public interest’.

BBC Ofcom Unison

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