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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 March 2019

Waitrose Food editor who quit over 'killing vegans' email joins London's Telegraph

William Sitwell was assigned a vegan restaurant for his first review

William Sitwell, the editor who resigned for his anti-vegan comments, has joined the 'Telegraph' as a restaurant critic. Instagram
William Sitwell, the editor who resigned for his anti-vegan comments, has joined the 'Telegraph' as a restaurant critic. Instagram

William Sitwell, the editor of Waitrose & Partners Food magazine who resigned after an email exchange in which he suggested a series on "killing vegans", has been appointed as the Daily Telegraph's new restaurant critic. His first assignment? A vegan restaurant.

'An insightful addition'

Jane Bruton, the Telegraph's deputy editor and director of lifestyle, said Sitwell's new weekly column would be an "insightful addition" to Saturday's magazine. "With a wealth of experience as a food critic, author and broadcaster, he will bring a unique voice to our existing roster of talented journalists and critics," she said.

His first review was of Wulf & Lamb, London and, perhaps unsurprisingly, he was "less than impressed by what he was offered".

He has also written of his meeting with Selene Nelson, the freelance journalist he offended in the first place, and of the threats he received over social media once his emails were made public.

The controversy

In October, Sitwell apologised for his "ill-judged" joke, in which he suggested a series on "killing vegans". A freelance journalist had written to the editor, pitching a series on plant-based meals. Sitwell, a one-time MasterChef judge, replied within 10 minutes. “How about a series on killing vegans, one by one," he wrote in his email. "Ways to trap them? How to interrogate them properly? Expose their hypocrisy? Force-feed them meat?”

Cue the social media storm. Users claimed his attitude towards veganism was "ignorant". Some journalists, however, weren't convinced. Times restaurant critic Giles Coren admitted it was "a stupid email", but that it shouldn't have been a "career-ender". Still, Sitwell resigned, saying it was "right and proper" that he step down.

The response to Sitwell's new position

Some people are thrilled. Fortnum & Mason's CEO, Ewan Venters, wrote to Sitwell on Twitter, saying he'd rearranged the newspapers in his local Marks & Spencer.

Others, again perhaps unsurprisingly, are anticipating a backlash. One Twitter user jokes: "I don't think this news is going to... Sitwell with the vegans".

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Read more:

Is it justified that an anti-vegan joke cost the Waitrose magazine editor his job?

Veganuary 2019: Why everything you think you know about veganism is wrong

Why this meat-eater is taking part in Veganuary 2019

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Updated: January 5, 2019 05:45 PM

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