Family feud: Miliband takes on Daily Mail

Ed Miliband has demanded a right of reply after the Daily Mail claimed his dead dad hated Britain.

The Labour leader took the unusual decision to tweet his anger after the paper published an article claiming that Ralph Miliband's Marxist beliefs "should disturb everyone who loves this country".

"The Daily Mail has agreed to publish a reply by me on Tuesday to their piece about my father headlined "Man Who Hated Britain"," he tweeted to his followers last night.

"My dad loved Britain, he served in the Royal Navy and I am not prepared to allow his good name to be denigrated in this way."

The Mail claimed that Ralph Miliband was a far-left Marxist who had a "distaste for the British character" and a "giant-sized social chip on his shoulder."

The double page article is full ofother details about his life and beliefs. According to the author Geoffrey Levy:

"This was the immigrant boy whose first act in Britain was to discard his name Adolphe because of its associations with Hitler, and become Ralph, and who helped his father earn a living rescuing furniture from bombed houses in the Blitz."

He also claims that Ralph Miliband was so opposed to the Falklands War that he "swore – a rare occurrence – at the sight of Margaret Thatcher's soaring popularity."

However the article fails to mention that Miliband also served in the Royal Navy for three years during the second world war.

Ed Miliband's decision to demand a right of reply is an ususual step by the Labour leader whose relations with the British press have often been strained.

His decision to back the recommendations in the Leveson report and his push for action over alleged phone hacking at News International has failed to ingratiate him with many newspapers.

However, Miliband is not the only party leader to have had his family background questioned by the press.

Shortly after the last general election, the Mail published an article about Nick Clegg's diverse background titled: "His wife is Spanish, his mother Dutch, his father half-Russian and his spin doctor German. Is there ANYTHING British about the Lib Dem leader?"