London Conservative mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith says he may vote to stay in the EU despite being a Eurosceptic

James Nickerson
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Conservative Zac Goldsmith Gives Talk On Transforming Politics In The UK
Goldsmith said he is not a "headbanger" on the issue of the EU (Source: Getty)

London Conservative mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith has said that while he is a Eurosceptic, he will vote to stay in the European Union if Prime Minister David Cameron achieves meaningful treaty change.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Goldsmith said while the EU needs to be reformed to become more "radically more democratic", he will review the reforms Cameron returns from negotiations with.

He added: "It may be that [Cameron] comes back with reforms that are not adequate for people who are sceptical of the EU. If that is the case I will, along with those other people, vote to come out."

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Goldsmith said that as he is not a "headbanger" on the issue of the EU, he would vote to come out if Cameron does not make meaningful and radical reform on grounds of the "national interest". He added he hopes the Prime Minister can make steps towards an agreement based on the common market.

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He also defended himself against claims that he had "played with fire" by calling his Labour mayoral election competitor Sadiq Khan "radical and divisive".

He said using the term "radical" over the selection of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is acceptable in that context, instead pushing the onus on to Khan by accusing him of acting in a divisive manner by "playing the race card when unambiguously it doesn't apply".

Goldsmith - who has been a vocal opponent of Heathrow expansion - also reiterated that he would not stand down as mayor of London if Heathrow is chosen as the airport for expansion in the South East, adding that the pledge to stand down as an MP was a promise he made to his constituents, with the role of mayor about much more than airport expansion.

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