New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Election 2024
30 November 2016updated 07 Sep 2021 10:34am

Zac Goldsmith: “I know I’m not racist and I don’t have anything to prove“

The former Tory MP has spoken out about his failed London mayoral campaign.

By Julia Rampen

The newly-independent Zac Goldmsith has insisted he doesn’t have “a racist bone in my body” in response to criticism of his failed mayoral campaign.

During the campaign, in May 2016, the then-Tory MP Goldsmith tried to paint his Labour rival Sadiq Khan as an extremist.

He distributed leaflets targeted at London Hindus suggesting Khan would tax “the family jewellery” – a move panned as patronising and racially divisive.

But speaking to the Evening Standard, Goldsmith said: “I know I’m not racist and I don’t feel I have anything to prove in that department.”

He blamed the characterisation of his campaign using dogwhistle tactics as a result of him losing. 

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Goldsmith quit as a Tory MP after the government made the controversial decision to back a third runway at Heathrow, thus forcing a by-election in his Richmond Park and North Kingston constituency. 

He will run as an independent, but will not have to face a rival Tory candidate. Ukip has also decided not to run a candidate, with a spokesman describing the Brexiteer as a principled man.

Some have called for Labour and Green candidates to also step aside, and allow the by-election to be a straight race against a Brexit candidate and the Lib Dems.

Goldsmith told the Evening Standard that if he won, it could force a rethink on Heathrow, but if he lost, the airport’s leaders “will be licking their lips”. 

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy