The Conservative candidate to replace Boris Johnson as Mayor of London has been told to apologise after equating conditions in pig farms to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Zac Goldsmith, who is neck-and-neck with Labour candidate Sadiq Khan in the race to be mayor, made the ill-advised comparison in an interview with The Telegraph.
However, the comments only came to light following a publicity visit to McDonalds, with Labour MPs rounding on his “grossly insensitive” remarks.
In the interview, Goldsmith said he would only eat meat if it was organic, and refused to eat meat that wasn’t.
“I won’t eat it,” he said. “I can’t digest the stuff. The average pig slaughtered today is riddled with tumours. I don’t particularly want a plate of grilled tumours which has come from a pig tortured under Auschwitz-like conditions.”
Michael Dugher, the Labour MP for Barnsley East and vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel, said: “Zac Goldsmith lives in another world. If he only wants to eat locally sourced organic food – and he can afford it – that’s up to him. But to make comments comparing pig farms and Auschwitz is clearly grossly insensitive.”
He added: “I’m sure decent Londoners, including in the Jewish community, will find his comments offensive. I think he should apologise.”
A spokeswoman for Goldsmith’s campaign said: “Zac is well known for his numerous campaigns to improve animal welfare. Labour’s cynical attempt to score political points is pathetic.”