Miliband Attacks Mail

October 4, 2013 by  

Miliband Attacks Mail, The Daily Mail’s unattractive attack on Ed Miliband’s late father has damaged the paper and revolted many people, the senior Conservative minister Francis Maude has said.

In the strongest attack by a Tory minister on the Mail, the Cabinet Office minister criticised the newspaper for maligning a dead person, who could not mount any defence.

Maude, who attends the cabinet, is a member of the privy council committee, which is due to decide on a royal charter to implement some of the findings of the Leveson inquiry on press regulation. He spoke out after Lord Moore of Lower Marsh, a former member of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, accused the Daily Mail of telling lies about his former tutor, Ralph Miliband. The newspaper claimed that his Marxist writings meant he hated Britain.

In an interview on BBC Newsnight, Maude went further than other Tory cabinet colleagues, who have simply defended the Labour leader’s right to defend his father.

Maude, whose father, Angus, was a member of Thatcher’s cabinet, said: “Like Ed Miliband, I had a father who was in the public eye and I think it’s quite unattractive to seek to ascribe to the son, the children, what the father has stood for. That is very unattractive, especially when that person is dead and can’t reply for themselves. I think it probably will have done the Daily Mail some damage because it does look very unattractive and I think a lot of people will be pretty revolted by that approach.”

Maude, however, said it would be wrong to ban such journalism: “I don’t think everything that is unattractive should be made illegal, no.”

Maude indicated that he hopes to find agreement on a royal charter following the Leveson inquiry. Members of the privy council, who agreed a cross-party charter, are considering an alternative version tabled by a group of newspapers.

Asked whether the Mail piece would complicate the royal charter process, Maude said: “I don’t know whether it has made any difference to how you work through what is a really complicated issue. There are lots of difficulties around it which we will resolve in due course.”

Lord Kinnock, the former Labour leader, praised Ed Miliband for defending his “mild” father.

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