An enraged Mr Miliband stepped up his feud with the Daily Mail, saying he was "appalled" at the essay on his Marxist academic father and there were "boundaries" about what should be in newspapers. He wrote a piece defending his father in the tabloid, but it was published alongside the reprinted essay on Ralph Miliband and a column attacking the "tetchy and menacing" response from the politician.
The Mail said it stood by "every word" of its profile of Mr Miliband's father, who came to Britain as a Jewish refugee and served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War before becoming a left-wing academic, supporting what the paper called "one of the world's most poisonous political doctrines". Mr Miliband said: "I'm even more appalled they have gone further and described my father's legacy as 'evil'. Evil is a word reserved for particular cases and I was not willing to let that stand."
David Cameron stressed he had not read the article, but said: "If anyone had a go at my father, I would want to respond very vigorously.
"There's not a day goes by that you don't think about your dad and all that he meant to you, so I understand why Ed would want to get his own view across."
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, writing on Twitter: "Politics should be about playing the ball, not the man; certainly not the man's family."