Daily Mail parliamentary sketch writer Quentin Letts last night said Ralph Miliband did not love his country because he wanted Britain to lose the Falklands War.
In a defiant defence of his newspaper on BBC Question Time, the columnist admitted the Daily Mail was never going to be popular among some sections of society.
The pundit also disassociated his paper from the Mail on Sunday’s botched attempt to doorstep members of Ed Miliband’s family at a memorial service for his uncle this week.
He said the Mail on Sunday was a completely different newspaper and was correct in apologising for its attempt to speak to Miliband’s family at the memorial service to his uncle Prof Harry Keen.
Letts claimed his paper was like the outsider standing outside the tent looking in and was often strident in its views. He admitted that it was unfair to judge Miliband senior for his diary writings as a 17-year-old boy but highlighted instead his later work as proof of his disloyalty.
He said: “Ralph Miliband was furious when we won the Falklands War. Is that the behaviour of a man who loves his country? I’m not sure it is. But it is a point of view. It is an essay. It is a political argument. It was from his authorised biography. It is not as if his bins were rooted through like the Sunday Mirror once did to David Cameron.”
He continued: “Working for the Daily Mail you are never going to be a favourite of the left, you are never going to be the favourite of bishops, princes, kings or prime ministers.
“The Daily Mail is outside the political village. The Mail tries to stand up for what it is interested in and what are its readers’ points of view.
“The Mail is being attacked by Nick Clegg. . . but maybe that’s because we have been pretty brisk on him."
However, Mehdi Hasan of The Huffington Post, drew raucous applause, when he outlined his view on the growing controversy.
Warming up for his monologue, Hasan claimed: “It has been a bizarre week even by journalistic standards.”
He said: “Let's have the debate about who hates Britain more, it isn't a dead Jewish refugee from Belgium who served in the Royal Navy, it's the immigrant-bashing, woman-hating, Muslim-smearing, NHS-undermining, gay-baiting Daily Mail."
During his attack, Hasan cited a Daily Mail column claiming gay Boyzone star Stephen Gately’s death was “unnatural” as well as another that he said branded Olympic hero Mo Farah as a “plastic Brit”.