Clarkson Falklands row: air unions call for end to ‘harassment’ of worker (

November 18, 2016

Manuel Pereira being ‘constantly hounded by journalists’ following row with The Grand Tour presenter at Stuttgart airport

Airline unions have called for an end to the “harassment” of a Stuttgart airport worker caught up in a row with Jeremy Clarkson, describing the former Top Gear presenter’s claims as “a torrent of unbelievable abuse and now disproven allegations”.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) said Manuel Pereira was being “constantly hounded by some journalists” which “has to stop”.

Clarkson told the Sun earlier this week that Pereira had refused to let him and his co-presenters on The Grand Tour board a plane on Monday following a row over the Falklands. He also alleged Pereira had said “I’m Argentinian – fuck you” and said a complaint had been lodged with the police.

It later turned out Pereira was Spanish, and airport authorities said Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond had missed their final chance to board the flight after repeated calls to the lounge where they were waiting. Pereira said he was “polite and professional” during the encounter.

German police told the Mirror they would not investigate further unless an official complaint was filed by The Grand Tour team or Pereira.

The ITF president, Paddy Crumlin, said the airport worker was merely doing his job ensuring the flight got to its destination “safely and punctually” by telling the trio they could not board. “Both the airport and the local police have confirmed this,” he said.

“In response, Jeremy Clarkson unleashed a torrent of unbelievable abuse and now disproven allegations. We now learn that Mr Pereira, the innocent party in this rather sordid little affair, is being constantly hounded by some journalists. That has to stop now.”

Katharina Wesenick, air transport national officer at Pereira’s union, ver.di, said the worker was being “photographed and hounded at work”. She said: “Mr Pereira does not have a TV series to promote; he just wants to get on with his job quietly and efficiently – as he was doing when he had to inform Mr Clarkson that he was too late to catch his flight.

“On behalf of Mr Pereira, we would ask the press to act responsibly and cease this unjust harassment. The airport has investigated and established that this was a clear-cut case of an airport worker having to refuse boarding to passengers who had arrived late from the lounge, where they had missed the urgent reminders. If the press have any questions I suggest they put them to Jeremy Clarkson.”

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