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Polly fumes at Miliband slur
6:30am Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
A CLOSE ally of Ed Miliband said she was “absolutely shocked” to see a piece in the Daily Mail which accused the Labour leader’s father of “hating Britain”.
Polly Billington, the Labour candidate for Thurrock in the 2015 general election, worked closely with Mr Miliband during his campaign to become leader of the Labour party.
On Saturday, September 28, the Mail published a lengthy article on how Mr Miliband’s father, Ralph, a prominent Marxist sociologist “hated Britain” based on a diary entry written when he was 17. Ralph Miliband died in 1994.
Just days later, the Mail sent a reporter to a private family memorial service. Mr Miliband hit out at the original piece and later challenged Lord Rothermere, owner of the Mail titles, to take a “long, hard look” at the “culture and practices” of the papers.
Ms Billington reacted angrily to the “smear” on Twitter. Later, she told the Gazette: “No one I’ve spoken to in Thurrock thought it was fair to do a hatchet job on a dead man. Ed Miliband was right to stand up for his dad.
“When I saw it I was absolutely shocked. I didn’t think they would stoop so low. I knew immediately how upset Ed would be. He’s always spoken to me very fondly about his dad and how much his dad loved Britain.
“The Daily Mail misjudged people’s response to this.
“I’ve not spoken to Ed since, but he knows how I feel. It’s the kind of thing we would talk about, how important families are. It’s right for politicians to be scrutinised, but it’s not right to have out and out lies published.”
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