Page last updated at 11:59 GMT, Thursday, 6 November 2008

MP wants Clarkson sacked by BBC

Jeremy Clarkson
About 150 messages of support for Clarkson have also been received

The BBC should sack Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson over remarks he made about prostitutes and lorry drivers, according to a Labour MP.

Chris Mole said the comments broadcast on the BBC2 show must be regarded as "a dismissible offence".

Five prostitutes from Mr Mole's Ipswich constituency were murdered in 2006 by lorry driver Steve Wright.

The BBC has received more than 1,800 complaints about the presenter remarks made during a lorry-driving task.

Mr Clarkson said: "This is a hard job and I'm not just saying that to win favour with lorry drivers - it's a hard job: Change gear, change gear, change gear, check mirror, murder a prostitute, change gear, change gear, murder. That's a lot of effort in a day."

'Dismissible offence'

Mr Mole said he had sent a "strongly worded" letter to BBC director-general Mark Thompson.

"The murders in my constituency in 2006 were horrific and the community has spent a lot of time pulling together to respond constructively to such dreadful events," Mr Mole wrote.

"For Mr Clarkson to make light of murder in any circumstance must be a dismissible offence.

"To do so with complete disregard for the families of the murdered women should make this a matter on which I would expect you to take immediate action."

'No investigation'

Steve Wright, 50, once worked as a lorry driver, and is expected to spend the rest of his life in jail for the five murders.

Truck driver Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, was jailed for life in 1981 for killing 13 women.

A BBC spokeswoman said complaints about the show have topped 1,800, but that more than 150 messages supporting Mr Clarkson had also been received.

A spokesman for broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said: "We have received complaints but we are not currently investigating the programme."

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