The dividing line between Britain’s right and left-wing press has widened into a gaping fissure after The Daily Mail published a no holds barred assault on The Guardian - accusing it of being a hotbed of ‘fake news’ and a ‘purveyor of hatred’.
The bad tempered attack follows a increasingly bitter war of words (and pictures) between the two poles of UK newspaper coverage after its competitor published a series of savage articles likening its nemesis to an ‘open sewer’ and an ‘organ of hate speech’.
This was topped by a Guardian cartoon of the van involved in an attack on a mosque at Finsbury Park -emblazoned with the logos of both The Daily Mail and The Sun - apparently the final straw for Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre who has now set his own news hounds off the leash.
In its riposte The Mail lashed back, stating: “...this week the Guardian published a cartoon so sick and disgusting – so deranged and offensive to the four million decent, humane and responsible people who read us – that we owe it to every one of them to lay to rest this malicious smear.
“For the Guardian’s editor to publish such deluded, defamatory nonsense – which in itself is a naked incitement to violence – speaks volumes about the hatred that drives this ‘voice of liberalism’.
“The truth is that the Guardian and the fascist Left are the real purveyors of hate in this country.”
The Daily Mail is at pains to stress that it is a separate entity to Mail Online - subject of the mist vociferous attacks - with a different publisher, readership, content and world view to its sister platform despite repeated conflation of the two by The Guardian.
Responding to the Daily Mail’s assault a Guardian spokesperson said: “Guardian journalism is based on principles of quality, trust, integrity and facts.”