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Dublin: 16°C Tuesday 26 October 2021

High-profile UK food magazine editor steps down over "killing vegans" email to this journalist

Sitwell is a critic on UK Masterchef.

WILLIAM SITWELL, THE Masterchef UK critic and editor of UK high-end supermarket Waitrose’s Food magazine, has had to step down over comments he made to a vegan journalist.

The journalist, Selene Nelson, shared the emails with Buzzfeed News, which show how she pitched an idea about plant-based food to Sitwell. In the replies published online, Sitwell responded:

How about a series on killing vegans, one by one. Ways to trap them? how to interrogate them properly? Expose their hypocrisy? Force-feed them meat? Make them eat steak and drink red wine?

In an Instagram post Sitwell said:

Firstly, to reiterate my apology to any food- and life-loving vegan who was genuinely offended by remarks written by me as an ill-judged joke in a private email and now widely reported.

He also said that in the ‘Eat Veg’ special issue of Waitrose Food, they “even refused advertising from those proffering meat-based products”.

In a statement, Waitrose said:

We have been informed by John Brown Media, who produce the Waitrose & Partners Food Magazine, that William Sitwell is stepping down as Editor of Waitrose & Partners Food magazine with immediate effect.
In the light of William’s recent email remarks, we’ve told John Brown Media that we believe this is the right and proper move – we will be working with them to appoint a new editor for the magazine.
We have had a relationship with William for almost 20 years and are grateful for his contribution to our business over that time.

The company and Sitwell have been inundated on social media with negative responses about his comments today – and by comments from those who disagree with him stepping down.

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