Maajid Nawaz is Leading Britain's Conversation
24 November 2017, 12:25
Zac Goldsmith has blasted media outlets for their “fake news” coverage of last week’s Brexit legislation vote on animal welfare laws.
By defeating a proposed amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill, it had been claimed Conservatives had voted to deny animals feel pain or emotions.
It led to a barrage of headlines such as “MPs voted 'that animals cannot feel pain or emotions’” which were shared by high-profile celebrities and seen by over two million people.
However, the government argued animals are already classed as sentient beings in existing legislation and including the clause in the EU Withdrawal Bill would lead to "legal uncertainty".
Mr Goldsmith, a Conservative MP, described the reporting by some organisations as “absurd, fabricated and a non-story”.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari, the former London Mayor candidate said it had left him “frustrated”.
He said: “Most people believed this stuff, why wouldn’t you believe it, it’s printed in the Independent - but you could ask why would anyone believe what's in the Independent.
“But it was fake news, clearly there is not a single MP in Parliament, not one from any party who doesn’t believe animals have feelings.
“Obviously animals have feelings and MP after MP from all parties who spoke in the debate made that point as clearly as is possible.”
He added: “I don’t think we should kid ourselves that EU environment laws is some kind of panacea .
“Under that very same principle, the principle people are worrying about now, you can keep pigs in conditions which you and I would not want even to witness let alone support.
“You can engage in bull fighting, you can produce foie gras, you can do veal farming, donkey torturing in Spain and fur farming all over Europe.
“All those things are legal under this principle.”