An article in the daily mail appeared online here. The article quotes Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP as a member of the PCAA Foundation, she is of course a member of the APPG Against Antisemitism. Article follows:
Zac Goldsmith criticised for likening newspapers to Nazi death camps
Tory MP Zac Goldsmith was last night attacked for using a reference to Auschwitz to criticise popular newspapers. The environmentalist made the provocative remark – described by one fellow MP as ‘pathetically stupid’ – at a star-studded session of a Parliamentary committee investigating privacy and injunctions. Sitting alongside actors Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan, the MP rejected arguments that newspapers should be given free rein to print stories about the private lives of famous people simply so that they sell more copies and remain financially viable. He said: ‘No one said that Auschwitz should have been kept open because it created jobs.’
Some 1.1million people – most of them Jewish – died in the concentration camp in southern Poland during Hitler’s reign of terror in the early 1940s. Mr Goldsmith later insisted on Twitter that his point about newspaper sales was ‘valid’ but conceded he ‘could/should have made it citing something different’.
But Labour MP Margaret Hodge, a member of the Parliamentary Committee Against Anti-Semitism Foundation, expressed outrage at his use of Auschwitz in his argument.
‘I just think it is a pathetically stupid comparison,’ she said. ‘He should think before he opens his mouth and hurls insults like that. It will cause a lot of distress to people.’
Last night a spokesman from the Holocaust Educational Trust said: ‘Zac Goldsmith has said that he could or should have cited a different example and we agree.’
Mr Goldsmith added on Twitter last night: ‘No one can genuinely believe I equated tabloids to concentration camps.’
He had earlier told the committee that MPs found guilty of certain types of hypocrisy should be ‘barred from office’, saying: ‘If you are in a position of authority such as an MP… it does mean you have to expect to be scrutinised very, very closely and very regularly to ensure you are not engaging in hypocrisy, you are not engaging in fraud, you are not abusing your position of power.