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Mail won't back down over Miliband
The Daily Mail has made clear it is not backing down in its battle with Ed Miliband over its denunciation of his late father, the Marxist academic Ralph Miliband.
A senior journalist on the paper insisted there would be no apology for the article it published almost a week ago under the headline "The Man Who Hated Britain".
Alex Brummer, the Mail's City editor, said it was the paper that was entitled to an apology after some Labour Party figures suggested its actions were motivated by anti-semitism.
The Labour leader sought to distance himself from the claims of anti-semitism.
But he stepped up his demand for the paper's owner, Lord Rothermere, to mount a full inquiry into his organisation's culture and practices after the Mail's sister title, The Mail on Sunday, sent a reporter to accost his relatives at a private memorial service.
Lord Rothermere apologised to Mr Miliband for that incident yesterday but has refused his demands for a wider inquiry into the way his newspapers operate.
Appearing on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Brummer strongly defended the Daily Mail's original article about Ralph Miliband, which questioned how far his hard-line left wing views had influenced his son.
"I don't think we need to apologise for anything. This was a piece which examined somebody's views very carefully," he said.
"I think there are people out there who need to apologise to us because there have been vicious accusations in the last couple of days, from (former Labour leader) Neil Kinnock among others, that somehow this was an anti-semitic attack."
Speaking to BBC Radio Five Live, Mr Miliband made clear that he was not suggesting the paper was anti-semitic.
"I'm always incredibly careful about throwing around the idea that the paper or somebody is anti-semitic or racist unless there is real evidence for that," he said.
"I don't believe that of the Mail, that's not been my issue."
He said that while the newspaper was entitled to hold him to account for his views, the way it had attacked his father was unacceptable.
"They'll criticise me, they'll say my policies are wrong, that's absolutely fine. But when it comes to my dad, and saying my dad hated Britain, I'm afraid they're crossing a line," he said.
"In all of this, they've never apologised for the fact they said my dad hated Britain - an idea without any foundation.
"I'm not picking a fight with the Daily Mail. I don't want to be talking about my family but I felt I had to, given what happened with my dad and what happened at my uncle's memorial service."
He added: "What I would hope Lord Rothermere would do ... is look at the wider culture and practices of the Mail and the Mail on Sunday because I don't think this is an isolated incident that has just happened to my family."
Mr Brummer insisted that the Mail did have a rigorous culture and practices.
"I hear the editor, I hear the department heads being asked every day 'are you doing this the right way?', 'Was that picture taken in the right place?', and so on," he said.
While he acknowledged that the headline on the article about Mr Miliband senior had been "quite robust", he said that it had to be read in conjunction with the whole piece.
"Headlines in newspapers are often quite robust, often more robust than the articles themselves," he said.
He said the article had been an attempt to understand the Labour leader's policies in the wake of his party conference speech last week in Brighton.
"It came right out of the Labour Party conference, out of his speech, where we felt ... there was quite a lot of rhetoric that was anti-free enterprise," he said.
He said the newspaper had a right to explore views which "were rampant in the house in which Ed Miliband was brought up, and was heard at the breakfast table every morning ... it tells you why he has such a low regard for free enterprise".
But Labour peer Lord Glasman said there were parallels between McCarthyism in America, "which took any criticism of the free enterprise system as anti-Americanism".
"What I'm saying is that (Daily Mail editor) Paul Dacre has got a 1950s McCarthyite politics," he told the Today programme.
The continuing row comes as the Privy Council, which meets next week, is considering rival proposals put forward by the Government and the industry for a new system of press regulation.
Chris Blackhurst, group content director for The Independent and the Evening Standard, expressed concern that the dispute would affect its deliberations.
"To only have one article in their minds, in a way that would be really improper and I hope that doesn't happen," he told BBC News.
"On the other hand, you have to acknowledge that the people round the table next week are all human and, as it happens, they are all politicians.
"Part of the row is the press versus politicians, the Daily Mail against a leading politician, and you have to hope they put that to the back of their minds, but they are only human."
A member of Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry team expressed concern that Mr Miliband's row with the Mail could be used as "a cudgel to try to beat the press" and push through a tighter system of regulation.
George Jones, a former Daily Telegraph political editor and Press Association special correspondent who was an assessor on the inquiry, said issues of taste and decency in newspaper reporting should not be a matter for regulation.
"In my view, if you go down that road you do seriously compromise freedom of speech," he told BBC Radio 4's The World at One.
"I think Ed Miliband does have an agenda here beyond what is his perfectly natural and filial right to defend his father and stand up for his own family. He is perfectly entitled to do that.
"Where I worry about it is that if he is trying to broaden this into an attack on the press, an attack on newspapers, I think he is misguided.
"Even though I personally found some of the Daily Mail coverage of Ed Miliband distasteful I still think that newspapers have to be free to report these things and take strong stands, strong opinions, even if people don't like them."
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls welcomed Lord Rothermere's apology for the "outrage" of sending a reporter to the private memorial service, but said the Daily Mail must now go further and apologise for the article.
"It is good that the Daily Mail has apologised. It was the right thing to do," Mr Balls told the Press Association during a by-election campaign trip to Dunfermline.
"I thought a reporter going to the memorial service was an outrage.
"But there has not been an apology for last weekend's story. This is not about press regulation, this is about common standards of decency in politics and the Daily Mail has done something that is just wrong.
"I think Ed Miliband is quite right to say that he is not going to see his father traduced in what I think most people think of as a blatantly political way.
"No-one is suggesting this is about press regulation, it's about a decent way of behaving and they should apologise."