Waitrose Food vegan row: William Sitwell joins Telegraph

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William Sitwell, who quit as Waitrose Food magazine editor after an email exchange in which he suggested a series on “killing vegans”, has become a Daily Telegraph restaurant critic.

He had apologised in October for his “ill-judged joke” in response to a pitch by a freelance journalist.

Sitwell, who posed with a carrot in a publicity shot for the Telegraph, said he was “very happy” to be joining.

Deputy editor Jane Bruton said he would bring a “unique voice” to the paper.

Asked on Twitter if he would be honest if his first meal was “a plant based one and you find it disgusting”, Sitwell replied: “It was – review out this Saturday.”

And in December, he posted an image of a hamper of “vegan wine” delivered by Fortnum and Mason.

Bruton said: “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.”

Sitwell, who has been a critic on the BBC’s MasterChef, came under fire when writer Selene Nelson publicised an email exchange in which she pitched a series on “healthy, eco-friendly meals” reflecting the growing popularity of veganism.

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Media captionWaitrose’s ex-‘killing vegans’ editor meets vegan

He responded 10 minutes later saying: “Thanks for this. 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?”

Waitrose said it was “right and proper” for him to resign and several social media users described his attitude to veganism as “ignorant”.

But some journalists came to his defence, with Times restaurant critic Giles Coren saying it was “a stupid email” but it should not have been a “career-ender”.