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Broadcaster and presenter Jeremy Vine has come under heavy criticism after he posted footage on social media of a lorry driver he claimed had ‘close-passed’ a cyclist in London.

A petition has now been set up demanding the radio DJ is sacked for promoting unfair accusations after scrutiny of the recorded incident appeared to show the professional driver had behaved correctly.

The incident occurred during a cycle ride Vine completed with Metropolitan police officers as part of a JustGiving charitable campaign.

The 57-year-old broadcaster, who was filming the ride using a helmet-mounted camera, captured a Waitrose lorry as it passed a police officer and then claimed on Twitter that the “massive truck” had driven too close to the cyclist, despite the vehicle remaining within its lane.

Close-passing is classed as careless driving and the offence can result in six licence points and a £100 fine.

However, when approached Waitrose for comment, a spokeswoman said it was confident its professional driver had used the correct positioning while driving on a narrow lane: “All our drivers are trained to the highest safety standards,” said the spokeswoman.

“We have investigated and closely examined the footage, including cameras fitted to our vehicle, and we are confident that our driver used the correct positioning while driving on a narrow lane.”

In just five days, the petition calling for Vine to be sacked had attracted more than 4,000 signatures.

The petition said video evidence showed that the driver had not committed the offence he was accused of: “For a very high-profile BBC employee to act as Vine has done in promoting unfair accusations against a hard-working member of the public, one of the people partly-responsible for paying his BBC-reported salary of £320,000-324,999, is intolerable and an insult to all HGV drivers across the country,” it said.

“The 300,000-plus HGV drivers of the UK have a very demanding, essential, yet unappreciated role in society.

“Generally they are highly conscious of the safety of vulnerable road users (VRUs); many undergo specific training created by organizations such as FORS & Transport for London, purely to safeguard VRUs.

“They should not be vilified on TV by cheap, sensationalist reporting of the kind promoted by Jeremy Vine.

“The BBC should remove Jeremy Vine from their Radio and TV programming immediately.”

Waitrose added that rumours the driver had been sacked were “grossly incorrect”:

“The driver continues to work for us as a valued member of our team,” said the spokeswoman.