The UK’s opposition leader has urged The Daily Mail to examine its culture after a series of clashes between the two.
Ed Milliband, who leads The Labour Party, has hit out over the practices of the newspaper.
It published a story labelling Milliband’s father Ralph – a Marxist academic who died in 1994 – as “the man who hated Britain”.
It caused controversy because Milliband senior – a Jewish refugee who fled Belgium aged 16 to escape the Nazis – served in Britain’s Royal Navy during World War II.
Milliband complained, but the newspaper stood by its story saying it should be allowed to scrutinise the politics of the person who wants to be Britain’s next prime minister.
But the newspaper’s owner Lord Rothermere was later forced to apologise after another episode in the saga.
Milliband claimed a Daily Mail reporter turned up – uninvited – at a private memorial service for his uncle, who died earlier this year. He said the journalist tried to quiz members of his family over what they thought about the original story.
The newspaper then suspended two of its journalists.
Milliband said in a letter to Rothermere: “Sending a reporter to my late uncle’s memorial crosses a line of common decency. I believe it a symptom of the culture and practices of both the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.
“You should conduct your own swift investigation into who was responsible at a senior level for this latest episode and also who is responsible for the culture and practices of these newspapers which jar so badly with the values of your readers.”
It’s a row that perfectly encapsulates a burning issue in the UK – the ethics of the press.
The controversy comes after the Leverson Inquiry last year, which looked into the ethics of the UK press after phone-hacking at the now defunct News of the World newspaper.
The inquiry recommended a new regulator be created, backed by legislation.
Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron said he was not convinced by the recommendations – a view shared by many of the newspapers themselves. Milliband meanwhile urged the press to accept the report in its entirety.