Jeremy Clarkson has come under fire after publishing his latest newspaper column, in which he complained of people “whingeing” about free school meals and the their quality.

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.”

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.”

Jeremy Clarkson

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, the comments have sparked controversy 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…

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.

Following his exit, co-stars Richard Hammond and James May also chose to leave, with the trio now hosting the Amazon Prime original series The Grand Tour.

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