Zac Goldsmith was today heckled by a group of older voters as he tried to explain why he wanted to knock down council estates as part a London-wide regeneration scheme.
At a hustings event organised by Age UK, the Tory Mayoral candidate was branded a “fantasist” by one audience member and asked “What the hell are you talking about?” by another.
Mr Goldsmith has previously claimed he thinks he has an "ethical obligation" to demolish London’s council estates.
Today the Richmond Park MP faced a hostile reception faced a hostile reception at the event, held in Canary Wharf.
Defending his policy, Mr Goldsmith was saying: “As long as you can overcome the Labour propaganda which is that the Tories are going to throw everyone out of their homes” when he was interrupted by several audience members booing and shouting: “They are!”
One women said: “You don’t seem to know what’s happening.”
Shortly afterwards the chairwoman was forced to step in and said: “Can we just let the candidate reply?”
Mr Goldsmith has vowed that any resident who loses their property as part of the regeneration programme will be offered a legal guarantee of getting their home back once the rebuild has been completed.
His ‘residents development guarantee' would also ensure that the majority of residents would only ever move once - from their old home to their new property.
Mr Goldsmith was also heckled and catcalled at several other points during the hustings, including when talking about Government cuts to police and Heathrow – with audience members shouting: 'You’re the fantasist!' and “What the hell are you talking about?”
Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I grew up on a council estate and I know that Zac Goldsmith’s outdated caricature is wrong and offensive.
“Most estates across London are great places to live - with a mixture of council and private tenants and a real sense of community.
“Of course we need to upgrade and improve many estates, but Zac Goldsmith’s plans to systematically knock down estates with absolutely no guarantee of genuinely affordable homes for residents at the end will only make the housing crisis worse.”
Mr Goldsmith told the HuffPost UK: “As Mayor, I will work with the Government to deliver a programme to re-build London’s ageing estates with a legal guarantee that if you live there now, you will return to a better home and not pay a penny more in rent than you currently do.
"Khan’s refusal to back improvements to council estates is cynical and wrong, and the deeply dishonest scaremongering he is engaging in is a perfect illustration of why he cannot be trusted to be Mayor of this great city.”
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