Jeremy Clarkson has been widely criticised following comments made about teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.
The former Top Gear host wrote that Thunberg, 18, needed a “smacked bottom”, in a column for The Sunday Times.
With the Cop26 conference now in its second week, he wrote: “I simply don’t get the Thunberg phenomenon.
“She has no knowledge of how the world works, no manners and no letters after her name because instead of going to school, she’s been busy sailing round the world so she can be mardy and abusive to grown-ups.
“What she needs is a smacked bottom.”
Thunberg returned to Sweden this weekend after a week in Glasgow for the UN climate summit.
She has been highly critical of the Cop26 talks that are beginning their second and final week, with countries under pressure to increase action to cut emissions to avoid dangerous warming and provide finance for poorer nations to cope with climate impacts.
The 18-year-old activist, who inspired the youth climate strike movement with her one-person school protest starting in 2018, was not invited to formally address the Cop26 conference.
She told young protesters at a march on Friday that the UN talks were “now a global north greenwash festival, a two-week long celebration of business as usual and blah blah blah” and branded it a failure.
It is understood she left Glasgow at the weekend and travelled by train back to Stockholm.
Ms Thunberg was off school last week due to the autumn break and had decided to attend only the first week of the Cop26 conference to avoid missing too many days of school.
Reaction to Clarkson’s comments on social media has been fierce, with one person writing:
“Middle aged white men using column inches to have pops at a young girl who is concerned about the environment is just f***ing weird.”
“Today Jeremy Clarkson said Greta Thunberg ‘needs a smacked bottom’. Real normal s***,” joked someone else.
“What is it about Greta Thunberg that makes all old guys get angry and defensive? Brilliant to see so many young people in Glasgow caring about this planet,” wrote another Twitter user.