Zac Goldsmith posed for a selfie with a “repellent” imam he criticised London mayor rival Sadiq Khan for sharing a platform with, it has emerged.
The Conservative Mayor of London candidate yesterday told the Evening Standard that Suliman Gani was “one of the most repellent figures in this country”.
However after Mr Goldsmith’s interview appeared on the front page of the London newspaper Mr Gani produced a photo of himself with Mr Goldsmith and posted it online.
“Oh no, I just read that Zac apparently calls me ‘one of the most repellent figures in this country’,” Mr Gani said, adding: “Dirty politics.”
In the same interview Mr Goldsmith had attacked Mr Khan for giving “platform, oxygen and cover to people who are extremists”. Mr Khan is well-known for long actively campaigning against extremism.
The Labour candidate said earlier this week that he was “disappointed” by the tone of Mr Goldsmith’s campaign.
The Tory candidate has been forced to deny that his tactics have been “racist” in using attack lines that seem to highlight Mr Khan’s Muslim faith.
“I’m sorry he is allowing those running his campaign to lock away the real Zac Goldsmith and put forward this person that I don’t recognise,” Mr Khan said.
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband also made a rare intervention on Wednesday, condemning Mr Goldsmith.
“[I] thought Zac Goldsmith was better than this gutter [Lynton] Crosby politics – and you can tell he doesn’t really believe it,” he said.