Miliband warns of ‘big fight’ with Fleet Street ahead

Ed Miliband warned Labour was facing a "big fight" with the press ahead of the general election, but insisted Fleet Street was now weak enough to be beaten.

The fighting words from the Labour leader suggests he is encouraged by the way the public mood swung behind him on phone-hacking and the battle with the Daily Mail over its coverage of his father.

"We've got to be willing to call these people out," he said at a private meeting for donors last night.

"They are less powerful than people ever thought and they are less powerful now than they were."

The Labour leader said the days when the media could attack his party "without response" was over, raising expectations that he would reinstate an instant rebuttal unit, which was quietly packed away after the Blair era.

"It is incredibly important that we fight back against them," Miliband added.

"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."

The comments come as negotiations over press regulation continue to rage.