Jeremy Clarkson is being criticised after saying Swedish activist Greta Thunberg deserves a 'smacked bottom'.
The former Top Gear host made the remarks in his column for the Sunday Times, where he said, "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," Clarkson wrote.
"What she needs is a smacked bottom.
"She's a pest. A 4ft maypole around which the deranged and the weak and the unemployable can dance and chant and make a nuisance of themselves."
Clarkson continued to criticise the activist in his column saying if she truly wanted results she should go to countries where they are not as aware of climate change as others.
"So here's a tip, Greta: lecturing me on what needs to be done is pointless. It'd be like standing in my bedroom every morning ordering me to wear clothes. I know already," Clarkson says.
"What you should be doing instead is cycling to countries where people are perhaps less well aware of what should be done.
"China for example. That I'd like to see. Greta standing outside Zhongnanhai with her parka and her Glastonbury backpack and her microphone, lecturing the leaders about their policies on coal and trees and so on."
Clarkson's comments were met with derision on social media with one person saying, "there's a creepy shivery dirty old man weirdness to Jeremy Clarkson's attempt at humour this week in his rage at Greta Thunberg!"
One Twitter user came to the defence of Thunberg saying; "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".
Another user wrote, "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".
Another Twitter user appeared to agree with Clarkson, saying, "Yeap, Greate Thunberg and her PR machine versus the People's Liberation Army would be a brilliant pay per view event."
Thunberg recently delivered a powerful speech to a youth protest in Glasgow, timed to coincide with the COP26 climate change conference taking place in the city.