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Miliband 'appalled' at Daily Mail
Labour leader Ed Miliband said he was "furious" at a national newspaper profile of his late father which claimed he "hated Britain".
Mr Miliband stepped up his feud with the Daily Mail saying he was "appalled" at the essay on his Marxist academic father and there were "boundaries" about what should be in newspapers.
He wrote a piece defending his father in the newspaper, but it was published alongside the reprinted essay on Ralph Miliband and a leader column attacking the "tetchy and menacing" response from the leader of the Opposition.
The Daily Mail said it stood by "every word" of its profile of Mr Miliband's father, who came to Britain as a Jewish refugee and served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War before becoming an academic supporting what the newspaper called "one of the world's most poisonous political doctrines".
The Daily Mail also hit out at Mr Miliband's support for statutory regulation of the press "under which politicians could ultimately decide what appears in newspapers".
In an interview with the BBC Mr Miliband said: "It's perfectly legitimate for the Daily Mail to talk about my father's politics but when they say that he hated Britain I was not willing to put up with that because my father loved Britain, my father served in the Royal Navy, he was a refugee who came here and found security in this country.
"He took great comfort from what this country offered him and I'm speaking out as a son.
"I was appalled when I read the Daily Mail on Saturday and saw them saying that he hated Britain. It's a lie.
"I'm even more appalled that they repeated that lie today and have gone further and described my father's legacy as 'evil'. Evil is a word reserved for particular cases and I was not willing to let that stand."
A clearly angry Mr Miliband added: " This is not about regulation, it's about right and wrong and it's about the way we conduct political debate in this country and I think there are boundaries.
"I think newspapers and people across politics mustn't overstep those boundaries. It's not about government or politics stepping in and stopping that happening, it's about the way we conduct our debate.
"I think this raises an issue about the way we conduct debates in this country.
"But what I'm interested in is defending my father's good name. And I don't want the British people to think that my father hated this country because he loved Britain.
"When the Daily Mail not only says that but publishes a photo on their website of his gravestone with a pun about it, saying he was a grave socialist, I'm furious. Because what is political debate coming to in this country when this happens?"
Mr Miliband insisted he was not trying to regulate what was published but added: "I think there are boundaries. There are boundaries for politicians attacking other politicians' families, there are boundaries for newspapers as well.
"It's not about regulation, this is not about me trying to regulate what the Daily Mail writes about my father but it is about me saying I think morality and our approach to these things matters and that's why I have spoken out."
The controversial essay, first printed in Saturday's edition of the Daily Mail, questioned what Ralph Miliband, who died in 1994, "really" believed in, adding "the answer should disturb everyone who loves this country".
The Daily Mail quoted the 17-year-old Ralph writing that the Englishman is a "rabid nationalist" and "you sometimes want them almost to lose (the war) to show them how things are".
Mr Miliband said he had discussed his response to the piece with his older brother and former leadership rival David, as well as his mother Marion Kozak and "they feel the same way I do".
A spokesman for the Daily Mail said: " We ask fair-minded people to read our editorial today. For what this episode confirms is that you cannot allow politicians anywhere near regulating the press.
"While we respect Mr Miliband's right to defend his father - and he has done so in the Daily Mail today - it is worth stressing that Ralph Miliband wasn't an ordinary private individual but a prominent academic and author who devoted his life to promoting a Marxist dogma which caused so much misery in the world.
"He hated such British institutions as The Queen, the Church and the Army, and wanted a workers' revolution. Our readers have a right to know that.
"Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, is the leading advocate of statutory controls of the press in Britain under which politicians could ultimately decide what appears in newspapers.
"His father - to whom he constantly refers in his speeches - was a proponent of one of the world's most poisonous political doctrines under which freedom of expression was crushed and newspapers controlled by governments."
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg backed the Labour leader's stance, writing on Twitter: "Politics should be about playing the ball, not the man, certainly not the man's family."
Prime Minister David Cameron said he understood the Labour leader's decision to take a stand on the issue.
Admitting he had not read the offending Daily Mail article, nor Mr Miliband's response, he said: "All I know is that if anyone had a go at my father, I would want to respond very vigorously.
"There's not a day goes by that you don't think about your dad and all that he meant to you, so I completely understand why Ed would want to get his own point of view across."
Mr Cameron said the row was part of a continuing debate about the relationship between politicians and the media.
He said: "I think people do want to know about you, about you and what makes you tick and your family, and all the rest of it.
"So I think we politicians are probably the worst people to start complaining about it. I think what's just required throughout is just sort of judgment - judgment from politicians about how much to show, judgment from newspapers about what to print, it's an ongoing debate."
But H ealth Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Ralph Miliband was "no friend of the free market economy" and he had never heard Ed Miliband say he supports it.
Mr Hunt, the former culture, media and sport secretary, told the BBC: " I think the important thing for voters is to know exactly where Ed Miliband stands on these fundamental issues about our society."
London Mayor Boris Johnson said he had not seen the article but told BBC Radio 4's World At One: "You're entitled to stick up for your family."