Ed Miliband signals battle with 'hostile' press after Daily Mail row

 

Ed Miliband appeared to ratchet up his rhetoric against The Daily Mail last night as he put his party on standby for a "big fight" with Fleet Street and insisted newspapers were "less powerful now than they were".

Speaking in London at a private dinner for party donors, the Labour leader called on his party to "fight back" against hostile newspaper coverage in the run-up to the 2015 election and "be willing to call these people out".

The comments, recorded at a dinner for donors in at a restaurant in Marylebone, come weeks after Mr Miliband sought a right-of-response to The Daily Mail after it twice published an article about his late father under the title: "The man who hated Britain." The newspaper has hitherto refused to apologise for the piece.

According to the Financial Times, Mr Miliband said last night:  "We've got to be willing to call these people out," and added: "They are less powerful than people ever thought and they are less powerful now than they were."

Publicly, the Labour leader has insisted his dispute with The Mail was about protecting his father's reputation and denied trying to exploit it to secure more favourable coverage in other papers. These latest remarks suggest he intends to take the opportunity send a wider message to Fleet Street.

The row overshadowed much of the Conservative party conference and led to cross-party condemnation from David Cameron and Nick Clegg. But Miliband allies believe he has improved his leadership credentials by standing up to "vested interests", and won sympathy from the most unlikely places, not least Mail readers themselves.

But it also comes at a delicate time for politicians and the press. Earlier this month the government presented a cross-party royal charter implementing principles of a voluntary system for press regulation. But it was bitterly opposed by numerous parts of the media with vehement debate likely to continue into next year.

A protest outside Daily Mail HQ earlier this month (Getty) A protest outside Daily Mail HQ earlier this month (Getty)  

The Daily Mail's editor-in-chief has warned that "politicians must not be allowed anywhere near press regulation". Using the unlikely platform of the pages of The Guardian, he has appealed for the press to take a united front in opposing the interference of "those who rule us" in overseeing newspapers.

But Mr Miliband's words appeared to deliver an antithetical tone. "It is incredibly important that we fight back against them (hostile newspapers)," he said. "The only thing these people understand is people who are strong and will stand up to them and that is what we're going to do."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

Day In a Page

Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road