03/10/2013 11:38 BST | Updated 03/10/2013 16:38 BST

Conservative Councillor's Smackdown Of Offer To Advertise In The Mail

This could be a smackdown that really hits the Daily Mail where it hurts - their bank balance.

Conservative councillor Nigel Fletcher received an email asking if he wanted to promote his political research group 'Opposition Studies' on the Daily Mail website for £475.

Fletcher, who said he was appalled by the article written this week by the Mail's Geoffrey Levy calling Labour leader Ed Miliband's father Ralph 'The Man Who Hate Britain', felt he had to take a stand:

Fletcher, who is in the Greenwich Council Shadow Cabinet, responsible for culture, said: "As a gay businessman who works with and values immigrants and ethnic minorities, and believes in grown-up political debate that rejects personal attacks of the gutter, I think I will decline the offer."

He told HuffPost UK: "I am frankly stunned by how much attention this has received. It was only intended as a riposte I thought my Twitter followers might find amusing.

"I was appalled by the tasteless slur on Ed Miliband's father, but it is only the latest in a long line of offensive articles the Mail has published.

"Even setting aside my own views, we are a cross-party think-tank, and advertising with a paper that has upset so many people across the political spectrum would not make sound business sense.

"They are free to publish what they want, but as a Tory believer in the free market I also have the freedom to take my business elsewhere."

Fletcher's email has had more than 4,600 retweets, including from the likes of Stephen Fry and columnist Owen Jones, who has started a campaign to get advertisers to boycott the Daily Mail and the MailOnline.


#dropthemail: Labour Campaigners Join Lord Sugar In Call For Advertisers To Withdraw From Daily Mail

Mail On Sunday Apologises 'Unreservedly' For Sneaking Into Memorial For Ed Miliband's Uncle

On Wednesday night, Lord Alan Sugar urged brands to pull their advertising from the Daily Mail as "a punishment" for its attack on Miliband Snr, a Marxist historian.

Speaking to Channel 4 News, the Labour peer and star of The Apprentice, said a "special ilk of people" work at the newspaper but that they have "gone too far this time".

But press officers at Asda, The Cooperative, Morrisons and Waitrose have confirmed they have no plans to change their advertising policy in response to #dropthemail, while others on Twitter have branded the campaign futile and unnecessary.