Mail on Sunday 'sorry' after Miliband funeral row
Two journalists suspended after reporter intruded on private memorial for Labour leader's late uncle
THE Mail on Sunday has suspended two journalists and apologised "unreservedly" to Labour leader Ed Miliband after one of its reporters gatecrashed his uncle's memorial service yesterday.
Miliband attended the private event at Guy's Hospital in London in memory of his uncle, Professor Harry Keen, a doctor who died earlier this year.
But the Labour leader said his family was "appalled and shocked" to discover that a Mail on Sunday reporter had "found her way into the event uninvited". The journalist approached members of his family seeking comments about the ongoing row between Miliband and the Daily Mail over the newspaper's claim that his late father, Ralph, "hated Britain".
In an open letter to Lord Rothermere, the proprietor of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, Miliband today called for a "swift investigation" into who was responsible for the incident.
The Mail on Sunday editor, Geordie Greig, has since apologised and said the reporter was sent without his knowledge. "It was a decision which was wrong. Two journalists have been suspended and a full investigation is now being carried out," he said. Greig described it as a "terrible lapse of judgment" and apologised to those at the memorial for the "deplorable intrusion".
Lord Rothermere is believed to be writing a personal response to Miliband, who had described the incident as crossing a "line of common decency".
However, Miliband looks unlikely to receive an apology from the Daily Mail's editor Paul Dacre over the original article about his father - although several politicians have spoken out against it.
Lord Heseltine told BBC 2's The Daily Politics that the Daily Mail had demeaned the political process with its attack on Ralph Miliband, while senior Conservative minister Francis Maude said he believed the episode would "damage" the newspaper. He told BBC Newsnight: "It does look very unattractive and I think a lot of people will be pretty revolted by that approach."
This morning, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg told LBC: "If anyone excels in denigrating and vilifying modern Britain it is the Daily Mail." ·