Ed Miliband tonight publicly hit out at the Daily Mail over an article it ran calling his father Ralph "the man who hated Britain". The Labour leader said he was "not prepared to allow his good name to be denigrated in this way" after the two page article in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.
He took the unusual step of using Twitter to express his deep anger about the piece and reveal that the Daily Mail had agreed to publish a response from him in Tuesday's edition. "My dad loved Britain, he served in the Royal Navy and I am not prepared to allow his good name to be denigrated in this way," he wrote.
The essay by Geoffrey Levy examined the political beliefs of the Marxist academic and how that influenced his two sons. It questioned what Ralph Miliband "really" believed in adding "the answer should disturb everyone who loves this country".
The article states: "As for the country that gave him and his family protection, the 17-year-old wrote in his diary: 'The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world . . . you sometimes want them almost to lose (the war) to show them how things are. They have the greatest contempt for the Continent . . . To lose their empire would be the worst possible humiliation'.
"This adolescent distaste for the British character certainly didn't stop him availing himself of the fine education that was on offer in this country, or spending the rest of his life here."
The article also quotes a letter attacking the British establishment. It adds: "Given this tirade, one is entitled to wonder whether Ralph Miliband's Marxism was actually fuelled by a giant-sized social chip on his shoulder as he lived in his adoptive country.
"He opposed the Falklands War with such a ferocity that he even swore - a rare occurrence - at the sight of Margaret Thatcher's soaring popularity."