Daily Mail Refuses To Apologise For Ed Miliband Father 'Character Assassination'

'Why We Won't Apologise'

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 has responded to the Mail's piece

"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.

"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

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."


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