Alastair Campbell calls out Daily Mail's Paul Dacre in petition

Alastair Campbell has launched an online challenge to the Daily Mail's editor after the paper's war of words with Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Alastair Campbell: Calling for a TV debate with Paul Dacre
Alastair Campbell: Calling for a TV debate with Paul Dacre

In a petition run through Change.org, the former Downing Street comms director called on Dacre to "debate with me, or a professional broadcast interviewer, on TV, the attack on Ed Miliband’s father and the role of the Daily Mail in the UK’s national debate".

The move follows a clash between Miliband and the Daily Mail, which ran a story claiming his Marxist intellectual father Ralph Miliband "hated Britain".

The piece, followed by another that gave the Labour leader right to reply but repeated the accusation, was labelled by Miliband as "a lie".

It was reported this morning that Milband has now written to the proprietor of the Mail on Sunday, Lord Rothermere, after a family memorial service this weekend was gatecrashed by a reporter from the paper.

Campbell accused Dacre of being a "bully and coward" during an appearance on BBC’s Newsnight earlier this week.

He appeared alongside the paper’s deputy editor Jon Steafel, who defended the article and headline as "entirely justified".

In the petition he accuses the Mail of being "the worst of British values posing as the best" and calls on Dacre to "find the courage to debate in public".

Campbell was hired by Portland last year, joining CEO Tim Allan, his former deputy in Tony Blair’s office.

He worked as press secretary for Blair from 1994 and left Downing Street in 2003, before returning briefly to help the re-election campaigns of Blair in 2005 and Gordon Brown in 2010.

The Daily Mail has not yet responded to PRWeek's request for comment.

 

Note: Mail on Sunday editor Goergie Greig has released a statement apologising for the family memorial intrusion, stating: "The reporter was sent without my knowledge; it was a decision which was wrong." Two reporters have now been suspended and a full investigation is being carried out.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has been sent home and will reconvene tomorrow morning for a seventh day of deliberations.

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Fishburn's management have defended their reinvention of the 23-year-old agency amid industry mutterings, fed by a series of director-level departures, about the direction in which it is going.

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

EasyJet aimed to break the world record for the highest ever theatrical performance for Shakespeare's 450th birthday yesterday with the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing on a flight from Gatwick to Verona.

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Senior executives from IBM, Nestlé, Vedanta, GE, Cargill, Philips and Allianz will be among the speakers at PRWeek's first Global Congress.