Nigel Farage has challenged Ed Miliband to a live head-to-head debate on TV, after the Labour leader attacked Ukip's "unjust" values.
In a letter published on Twitter today, Farage said he was "quite surprised" that Miliband said he wanted a debate about Ukip, given he had previously "declined" a face-to-face discussion.
In his fightback speech this morning in Central London, Miliband directly attacked Farage and Ukip. "We will be talking more about immigration as a party and we should. But always on the basis of Labour values, not Ukip values. What we will never do is try to out-Ukip, Ukip. I think it is time we levelled with people about Ukip. It is time we had a debate about where they really stand," he said.
"Their answer is to return to a more unequal, more unjust past. Mr Farage, you go to live in that world if you want to. But I don’t think the people of Britain will follow. We’re Britain, we’re better than this. Because we know you can’t build a vision of the future if you don’t believe in equal rights. You can’t succeed as a country if you try to close yourself off from the world. You can’t make a fairer country if you try to destroy our National Health Service."
Miliband attacked Farage for looking to the past rather than the future. And many were quick to note that the Ukip leader's letter appears to have been written on a typewriter.
Ukip is on course to secure its second ever elected MP next week, with Tory defector Mark Reckless the favourite to win the Rochester by-election. Douglas Carswell became the party's first MP last month when he stormed to victory in the Clacton by-election he triggered when he too defected from the Conservatives.