MP Goldsmith's anger at 'grotesque' Mail quote

By Jessica Elgot, December 22, 2011
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MP Zac Goldsmith said the accusation against his father Sir James was 'grotesque'

MP Zac Goldsmith said the accusation against his father Sir James was 'grotesque'

MP Zac Goldsmith has spoken of his anger after the Daily Mail quoted his late father as saying Holocaust victims “lacked initiative.”

The Mail's Ephraim Hardcastle column claimed Referendum Party leader and businessman, Sir James Goldsmith said concentration camp victims “lacked the initiative to get out.”

A fulsome apology was published by the Mail this week. Mr Goldmith called the quote “grotesque”.

"You cannot libel the dead, and so the author must have assumed it would go unchallenged.

"But apart from the fact that he was Jewish, that countless German relatives were murdered by the Nazis, and that his closest friends were survivors, it is perfectly obvious that no leader of any political party could have made such a remark without it appearing prominently in every newspaper.

"When challenged by my family, the Mail offered no defence, and quickly offered an unqualified retraction and apology, for which I am grateful."

Conservative MP Mr Goldsmith himself provoked criticism last week at a Westminster committee hearing on privacy, after he compared newspapers to Auschwitz. He said: “Nobody said, for example, that Auschwitz should have been kept open because it created jobs. This is just a non-argument."

He later apologised for the remark.

Last updated: 3:18pm, December 22 2011