Miliband tells of reluctant battle as Mail ‘victims’ protest

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CAMPAIGNERS held a protest outside the London offices of the Daily Mail, sparked by the controversy over its article about Ed Miliband’s father.

Holding up placards reading ‘Hated by the Daily Mail’, the activists said they represented all the people “who have been picked on” by the newspaper.

The Daily Mail has refused to apologise after criticism of its article about the Opposition leader’s late father Ralph Miliband – a Marxist academic – under the headline: The man who hated Britain.

Mr Miliband has claimed the attack on his father, and the gatecrashing of a private memorial for his uncle by sister title the Mail on Sunday (MoS), are symptomatic of the culture at the titles.

He was given the right to reply to the Daily Mail’s essay on his father, who died in 1994, but the newspaper accompanied it with an editorial accusing the left-wing thinker of leaving an “evil legacy”.

Viscount Rothermere, chairman of the company which owns the newspapers, has apologised after an MoS reporter turned up uninvited to an event commemorating Mr Miliband’s uncle.

MoS editor Geordie Greig also apologised and said that two journalists on his paper had been suspended pending an investigation.

But in Lord Rothermere’s reply to a letter from Mr Miliband he said he did not believe the incident reflected the culture and practices of the Daily Mail or MoS.

The MP for Doncaster North said that “beggars belief”. Yesterday he denied seeking a fight with the newspapers to bolster his image, insisting he had felt obliged to stand up for his family. “Of all the things I’ve done in my time as leader of the Labour Party, this is not something I’ve relished, this is not a fight I wanted,” he said.

Campaigner and journalist Owen Jones addressed the crowd and said the newspaper had previously demonised public sector workers, trade union members and women.