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BBC faces fresh furore over Jeremy Clarkson 'pikey' remark

By Chris Green

The BBC is facing a fresh dispute over Jeremy Clarkson's behaviour after an internal investigation concluded that Top Gear presenter's use of the word "pikey" was not racially offensive.

The dispute comes a week after the BBC suspended Clarkson for allegedly punching one of the show's producers during a row over food.

The ruling by the BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee, due to be published today, acknowledges the fact that the word "pikey" is related to Travellers.

During the February 2104 show, Clarkson had erected a placard at a race start line bearing the words "Pikey's Peak".

But it said there had been "no intended racist reference". "The committee believed the word 'pikey' had evolved into common parlance among a number of people to mean 'chavvy' or 'cheap' and… viewers would not necessarily associate it with the Gypsy and Traveller communities," the committee said.

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