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TORY Education Secretary Michael Gove leapt to the defence of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson yesterday, begging BBC bosses not to sack him over racist language.
Mr Clarkson became embroiled in a yet another racism row this week when he was caught using the n-word while reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe during the filming of an episode of the BBC2 programme.
He initially denied the claim but backtracked after the footage was passed to the Daily Mirror.
In the footage the obnoxious presenter is using the nursery rhyme to compare two sports cars.
He said he “mumbled where the offensive word would normally occur” in two takes and used the word “teacher” in its place in a third.
In a video posted on Thursday he claimed that he “did everything in my power to not use that word” and was now “begging your forgiveness for the fact that obviously my efforts weren’t quite good enough.”
Asked if he backed calls for professional controversialist Clarkson to be axed over the latest episode, Mr Gove told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “No, I don’t.
“The word in question is horrendous and shouldn’t be used but I have read Jeremy Clarkson’s account in the papers today, his explanation, and it seems to me that this was a word that he never intended to utter, never intended to broadcast.
“He has been clear in his apology and I think we should leave matters there.”
The BBC said it had “left him in no doubt about how seriously we view this.”
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