The Daily Mail has refused to apologise for calling Ed Miliband's late father "The Man Who Hated Britain", printing the Labour leader's right of reply next to the original hatchet job on Ralph Miliband, and a lengthy comment piece defending the Mail's view.

In a 1,000 word essay, Miliband called the Mail article a "character assassination", and stressed how his father had loved Britain after coming here during the Second World War.

"Fierce debate about politics does not justify character assassination of my father, questioning the patriotism of a man who risked his life for our country in the Second World War, or publishing a picture of his gravestone with a tasteless pun about him being a ‘grave socialist’", he wrote.

ed miliband

Ed Miliband has responded to the Mail's piece

But the Mail printed a lengthy editorial of its own next to the piece in Tuesday's paper, entitled "An evil legacy and why we won't apologise."

"Today, we stand by every word we published on Saturday, from the headline to our assertion that the beliefs of Miliband Snr ‘should disturb everyone who loves this country’."

The paper called Miliband's response "tetchy and menacing", teasing that "Red Ed's in a strop with the Mail".

"What is blindingly clear from everything he wrote throughout his life is that he had nothing but hatred for the values, traditions and institutions — including our great schools, the Church, the Army and even the Sunday papers — that made Britain the safe and free nation in which he and his family flourished.

"That’s why the Mail — which is not Pravda — said that readers who love this country would be truly disturbed if they understood about Miliband’s father’s views.

Ed Miliband Condemns Daily Mail 'Smears' About His Father Ralph

"We do not maintain, like the jealous God of Deuteronomy, that the iniquity of the fathers should be visited on the sons. But when a son with prime ministerial ambitions swallows his father’s teachings, as the younger Miliband appears to have done, the case is different."

The paper also reprinted the article by Geoffrey Levy, under the new headline: "As the Labour leader reacts angrily to our critique of his Marxist father... We repeat: This man did hate Britain

Nicholas Pegg
Ralph Miliband fought the Nazis. The Daily Mail supported the Nazis. We all know who hates Britain, Mr Dacre.

Alastair Campbell
Unity among ministers, right wing hacks and PR bods that Dacre has totally lost the plot in handling of right of reply

Owen Jones
Daily Mail editorial headline: "An evil legacy and why we won't apologise". This would make a fitting new strapline for the paper

The Labour leader was defended by Prime Minister David Cameron, in an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

He admitted he hadn't read the article or the reply, but added: "If anyone had go at my father, I would want to respond very vigorously. There's not a day goes by when I don't think of my Dad. I can completely understand why Ed would want to get his view across."

But he said that he thought politicians were the "worst people to complain" about invasions of privacy and said he thought judgment was required by both politicians and journalists about how much of their private life is in the public domain.

A Labour spokesman told HuffPost UK: "Ed Miliband wrote his right to reply article because he wanted to state clearly that his father loved Britain.

"He wanted the Daily Mail to treat his late father's reputation fairly. Rather than acknowledge it has smeared his father, tonight the newspaper has repeated its original claim. This simply diminishes the Daily Mail further.

"It will be for people to judge whether this newspaper's treatment of a World War Two veteran, Jewish refugee from the Nazis and distinguished academic reflects the values and decency we should all expect in our political debate."

Also on HuffPost:

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  • Labour Leader Ed Miliband

    Age: 43 Married to: Justine Thornton Children: - Daniel Thornton - Samuel Stewart Thornton

  • Fact One

    He can do a Rubix cube in 90 seconds. Miliband confirmed this rumour to the Daily Mirror, saying he could complete the puzzle in a more modest-sounding "one minute and 30 seconds".

  • Fact Two

    TV? He hasn't got time. The Labour leader says he used to enjoy Eastenders, but can't spare the half hour four times a week to sit down and watch it anymore. We don't blame him, that works out as spending just over four days watching the soap every year.

  • Fact Three

    He's famous enough to have a list of fake facts written about him. <a href="" target="_hplink">Want to know some of the fake facts about Miliband?</a> <blockquote> When Ed Miliband went on the Jeremy Kyle show, the lie detector results simply read, "Awesome". When Ed Miliband slices pizza, every slice is always exactly the same size. Ed Miliband invented Cillit Bang. Ed Miliband climbed Everest... in his lunch hour. Ed Miliband co-wrote Liberty X's number one single, 'Just A Little'. Ed Miliband COULD put Humpty Dumpty together again.</blockquote>

  • Fact Four

    Miliband attended Corpus Christi College, Oxford (pictured) then London School of Economics, becoming a TV journalist before he went into politics.

  • Fact Five

    In 2002/3 Miliband spent a year and a half teaching economics at Harvard University.

  • Miliband sparkling

  • Miliband spitting

  • Miliband seething

  • Miliband sipping

  • Miiband spannering

  • The "not Dave?!!!" speech

  • The "one nation" speech, Labour Party Annual Conference 2012.

  • The "upcoming leader?" speech, Labour Party Conference 2009

  • The "gay marriage" speech, 4 February 2013

  • The "better future" speech, 3 October 2012