Protesters have gathered outside the offices of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday to voice their opposition to what they described as "grotesque acts of journalism" by both titles in their ongoing spat with the Labour leader, Ed Miliband.
Around 200 trade unionists and leftwing campaigners joined Muslim leaders for the demonstration outside the newspapers' London headquarters.
"The message is clear," said the journalist and campaigner Owen Jones, addressing the crowd. "Enough is enough: stop your campaign of hatred."
Jones said the newspapers had waged a vicious campaign demonising large sections of society, from public sector workers to women and trade union members.
"We are speaking up for decency … this is a show of cheerful defiance by all the people who have been picked on by the Daily Mail."
The protest follows an increasingly bitter feud between Miliband and the Mail that was sparked when the paper claimed in an article last weekend that the Labour leader's late father, the academic Ralph Miliband, "hated Britain". The Labour leader was given the right of reply but the paper also reprinted most of the original accusations.
Relations between Miliband and the newspaper group hit a new low when it emerged that a Mail on Sunday reporter had intruded on a private memorial service for a relative of the Labour leader.
John Rees, a protester from Hackney, north London, said the papers' treatment of Miliband had been disgraceful. But he said the protest was also about wider issues.
"The Daily Mail has an agenda which wants to decry and diminish anyone who stands up for the NHS, trade unions or minorities. It is a pernicious influence on the political environment of this country."
The Mail on Sunday editor, Geordie Greig, apologised for the intrusion at the memorial service after Miliband wrote to the proprietor, Lord Rothermere, asking whether the common line of decency had been breached by the reporter gatecrashing the service for his uncle on Wednesday. The Daily Mail has not apologised for the article claiming Miliband's father, a respected academic, hated Britain.
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