A petition to save Jeremy Clarkson has gone stratospheric - but don't despair

A petition asking the BBC to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson has attracted over 400,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.

The Top Gear presenter was suspended by the Beeb on Tuesday after being involved in a "fracas" with a producer (unconfirmed reports have since alleged that he punched someone because no one had arranged dinner).

While many great causes have been supported by the British public, the petition for Clarkson, set up by right-wing blog Guido Fawkes, is now the the fastest-growing petition ever seen on Change.org's UK site.

With that in mind, perhaps it's just time we all take a step back, take a deep breath and think about whether reinstating a belligerent, middle-aged man who talks about cars is really top of our priority list before things get too out of hand.

Somewhat reassuringly, however, there are a host of other good causes that have received comparative levels of support in recent years. Here are ten of the most popular petitions on Change.org in the UK.

Iain Duncan Smith/£53 a week (Reached victory)

Started in April 2013 by student Dom Aversano, the petition challenging Iain Duncan Smith to live on £53 a week reached 100,000 signatories in its first day and went on to attract 482,756 supporters.

Pardon all men convicted of anti-gay laws, like Alan Turing

A petition started in the US, which gained the support of stars like Benedict Cumberbatch, currently has 596,000 signers from around the world - with over 300,000 signers from the UK, according to Change.org.

Keep rents affordable at New Era Estate (Reached victory)

Almost 350,000 people backed Lindsey Garrett and the residents of the New Era Estate in December 2014. Championed by Russell Brand, the petition eventually reached victory and saw US developers pass the estate to a housing association.

Green Party in TV debates (Reached victory)

The petition to have the Green Party included in the pre-election TV debates attracted 281,000 signatures in just a few weeks and was victorious on 23 January after the party was invited to take part by broadcasters.

End FGM (Reached victory)

In February 2014, 234,373 backed Fahma Mohamed's petition for Michael Gove to write to all schools about female genital mutilation.

Former education secretary Gove met with the Bristol teenager and agreed to write to all headteachers urging them to educate children, parents and teachers about the practice.

Save Meriam (Reached victory)

More than one million people from around the world backed British student Emily Clarke when she launched a petition for to Save Meriam Ibrahim who was on death row in Sudan for apostasy.

Save BBC Three

More than 275,000 people signed the petition to save BBC Three after the corporation announced its plans to shut it down. The petition was delivered to the BBC Trust last month.

Visas for Andrea Gada's family (Reached victory)

In just one week over 130,000 people backed the parents of Zimbabwean five-year-old Andrea Gada, who were asking for visas so their grandparents could attend her funeral after she died in a car crash.

The campaign was delivered to Downing Street resulting in David Cameron writing a personal letter to the family and their visas were granted.

Free Ghoncheh

Almost 800,000 people around the world signed the petition that was started in Britain calling for the release of Ghoncheh Ghavami - a British woman who was jailed in Iran for attending a volleyball match. She has now been released on bail.

Stop selling trips to SeaWorld

More than 265,000 have backed a petition asking British Airways to stop selling trips to SeaWorld in the US because of the park's treatment of orcas. As a result of the petition Kathleen Haase, who first posted it, met with BA in October last year.

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