Jeremy Clarkson has come under fire after he complained about people “whingeing” about free school meals and their quality in his latest newspaper column.
Last week, Boris Johnson’s government faced scrutiny after photos of the meagre food parcels that those in need were being provided with went viral on social media.
After a phone conversation with footballer Marcus Rashford – who has campaigned on behalf of families who receive free school meals throughout the pandemic – Johnson spoke out to say the parcels in questions “do not meet the standards we set out”, adding: “We have made it clear to the company involved that this is disgraceful.”
I totally agree with you @MarcusRashford, these food parcels do not meet the standards we set out and we have made it clear to the company involved that this is disgraceful. The company concerned has rightly apologised and agreed to reimburse those affected. https://t.co/tVCVhUouRa
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 13, 2021
Addressing the matter in his latest Sunday Times column, Clarkson wrote: “On the food front, I think [Marcus Rashford’s] fight is noble and well judged, and I agree that some shameless profiteering is going on.
“But I am fed up to the back teeth of the whingeing this story unleashed.”
The former Top Gear presenter continued: “We live in a country where children from less well-off families are entitled to free lunches when they are at home. Yippee.
“But instead of celebrating that fact, and concentrating on making sure the food they get is not half an ounce of mould and a dead dog, I heard a woman on the news the other day demanding that she be given £30 to provide lunch for her child. Thirty quid? Where’s she going to take him? Fortnum & Mason?”
Clarkson also suggested those who have asked for supermarket vouchers rather than food parcels were hoping “to exchange it at the supermarket for fags and scratchcards”.
Understandably, his controversial comments have sparked a strong reaction on social media, with many calling out the host for lambasting people “whingeing” about the quality of their food, especially given the reasons for his own Top Gear exit…
This from someone who literally punched a colleague because a steak was not to their liking https://t.co/DmB0X8Bk6q
— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) January 19, 2021
Forgive me if I don’t take lectures on who is whining over a lack of food from the millionaire who punched a producer because he gave him a sandwich https://t.co/UwHSZtWiq1
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) January 19, 2021
Jeremy Clarkson punched a colleague because they couldn't get him a sirloin steak. https://t.co/YZnwktNC6i
— Becki Winson (@rebeccawinson) January 19, 2021
— Glen Scott (@glenrules) January 19, 2021
nice to see Jeremy "Multi-millionaire who wants for nothing but still punched a man in the face because he wanted a steak" Clarkson is going after people for complaining about the disgraceful state of the free school meals that were sent out to struggling families
— Kirioth (@Kirioth) January 19, 2021
Imagine being so rich that you're judging people for complaining about what they get in their free school meals. Apparently if you're struggling, you should just be happy you got anything. Doubt Jeremy Clarkson has ever had to live on a week of cheese sandwiches and frubes 🙄
— CoffeeStarsBooks ☕ (@kbeestonewrites) January 19, 2021
Remember when Clarkson punched a producer in the face because he couldn’t have a steak? https://t.co/Dd9cblWEy3
— Niecy O'Keeffe (@NiecyOKeeffe) January 19, 2021
Man worth $60 million complains about families asking for £30 a week to feed their children. https://t.co/EL4LtEo2qS
— Morgan Paulett 🏴 (@MorganPaulett) January 19, 2021
This boomer man baby assaulted someone because he couldn't have a steak.
Give me a break. https://t.co/p2UN0gTiHH
— E.H.James 💙 (@EddieHenryJames) January 19, 2021
— Richard Swancott (@RichSwancott) January 18, 2021
i'm fed up to the back teeth with men whinging about what they're fedup to the back teeth about people 'whinging' about@JeremyClarkson if yh had a bit more empathy for impoverished children then maybe yr poor lil brow wouldn't be so furrowed but ofc that's the real tragedy here https://t.co/Vt6Lo0S3wG
— elmh (@eliotsgraveyard) January 19, 2021
Says the man who literally punched a producer in the face because he couldn't get a steak for dinner 🤨https://t.co/7Bkt0scBBl
— Tom 💙 #NHSblueheart (@tomgiddings) January 18, 2021
"the millionaire Jeremy Clarkson" - fixed that for you https://t.co/vslQpYa58f
— J is for Jenius (@stemwinder) January 19, 2021
I'll never understand how so many people give this guy a free pass.https://t.co/RrakyVV6dz
— SMW (@notaspaceship) January 19, 2021
who paid for the food you punched that BBC producer over mate? Taxpayer was it? https://t.co/pHkI5sPcWr
— Rhiannon Shaw (@rhiannoneshaw) January 19, 2021
Clarkson was let go by the BBC in 2015 – having already been on what he said was his “final warning” – after physically assaulting a crew member while filming Top Gear on location.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.