Charity benefits in Clarkson bank prank

Diabetes UK says it is "trying to establish the facts" after television presenter and commentator Jeremy Clarkson claimed that a £500 direct debit to the charity had been set up from his bank account after he published his account number and sort code in a national newspaper.

The Top Gear presenter revealed his details in a bid to prove that last November’s furore over the loss of two data discs containing the personal details of 25 million people by HM Revenue & Customs in November was a “storm in a teacup”.

He published his own details in his column in The Sun newspaper, along with the message: “All you'll be able to do with them is put money into my account. Not take it out. Honestly, I've never known such a palaver about nothing. The fact is we happily hand over cheques to all sorts of unsavoury people all day long without a moment's thought.”

However, he admitted he had been wrong after noticing the direct debit to the charity when checking his bank statement.

“The bank cannot find out who did this because of the Data Protection Act and they cannot stop it from happening again,” he said. “I was wrong and I have been punished for my mistake.”

A Diabetes UK statement read: “This is a very strange situation and we are trying to establish the facts.”

A spokeswoman said the charity was unable to comment further for legal reasons.

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