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Clarkson compares Kent residents to illegal immigrants

Jeremy Clarkson filming Top Gear in Queenborough, Isle of Sheppey, in November
Jeremy Clarkson filming Top Gear in Queenborough, Isle of Sheppey, in November

A Kent MP has offered under-fire TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson a personal tour of the Isle of Sheppey after he suggested the island was a "caravan site".

The outspoken Top Gear star made the slur in the same article in which he compared Kent residents to illegal immigrants.

Writing in the latest issue of Top Gear magazine, 51-year-old Clarkson said: "Mostly, the Isle of Sheppey is a caravan site.

"There are thousands and thousands of mobile homes, all of which I suspect belong to former London cabbies, the only people on Earth with the knowledge to get there before it's time to turn round and come home again."

Conservative MP Gordon Henderson, who represents Sittingbourne and Sheppey, said he will write to Clarkson and invite him to visit Sheppey.

He said: "I will take him round to see the attractions we have got.

"It is true we have got lots and lots of caravans, but we have other parts and I would be happy to show him what else we have.

"I was asked if my constituents would be insulted by his comments, but I believe they are far too sensible to be upset by it."

Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson
Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson

Clarkson visited Queenborough, Sheppey, in November to film a Top Gear show due to be broadcast early this year.

He provoked a storm of criticim yesterday when it emerged his article described the people of Kent as the "sort of people who arrived in the back of a refrigerated truck" and ranted about the difficulties of driving through the county, which he labels The Twilight Zone.

He wrote: "And what of the locals? Well, they tend to be the sort of people who arrived in the back of a refrigerated truck or clinging to the underside of a Eurostar train.

"And that reinforces my point rather well.

"Mboto has somehow evaded the gunmen and the army recruiters in his remote Nigerian village.

"He walked north, avoiding death and disease, and then somehow made it right across the Sahara desert to Algeria.

"Here, he managed to overwhelm the security men with their AK-47s and get on a boat to Italy, where he sneaked past the guards."

Clarkson added: "He made it all the way across Europe to Sangatte, from which he escaped one night and swam to Kent.

"But that stumped him. Getting out of there was impossible, so he decided to make a new life in Maidstone."

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