The Mail has come under fire across the political spectrum for running an article about Mr Miliband’s late father Ralph, headlined “The Man Who Hated Britain.”
But he went on to defend the paper’s right to voice such views, saying: “The moment we begin to regulate opinion is the moment we stop being a free, democratic nation.”
Kevin’s intervention came on the day it emerged the Mail’s sister paper the Mail on Sunday had apologised to Mr Milband for sending a reporter to a private family memorial service for his uncle, Harry Keen.
Mr Miliband had complained directly to Mail owner Lord Rothermere over the issue, by-passing the Press Complaints Commission which he described as “widely discredited” and of which Mail editor Paul Dacre is a member.
Wrote Kevin: “The piece was classic Daily Mail, a newspaper that is never happier than when it is scaring or outraging the nation via its own peculiarly right-wing view of the world.
“Of course, the Mail’s piece and the way in which it was displayed is particularly loathsome and odious. But it is what the Daily Mail does. And, love it or hate it, it is the second-most popular newspaper in Britain behind The Sun and has the most-viewed English-language newspaper website in the world.
“In my view, the Daily Mail is a nasty newspaper with a nasty set of opinions. I would never defend its opinion of Ralph Miliband or the way in which it has chosen to express it.
“But I will defend to the death its right to hold and voice such opinions. The moment we begin to regulate opinion is the moment we stop being a free, democratic nation.”
Kevin went on to criticise Mr Dacre personally for having given his deputy, Jon Steafel, the job of publicly defending the paper’s actions.
“The biggest criticism I have of the Mail’s conduct this week is the failure of Mr Dacre to defend his newspaper’s position,” he said.
“If the Argus was in a similar position, I wouldn’t be sending out my deputy to speak on my behalf. I make the decisions, therefore I should defend them.
“The Mail’s attack on Ralph Miliband was cowardly. But when a newspaper is led by an editor who is not brave enough to defend his own decisions in public then is that really a surprise?”
The Mail has so far declined to comment specifically on Kevin’s comments.
However the MoS has “unreservedly” apologised to Mr Miliband after an uninvited reporter went to a private memorial service he was attending for his late uncle.
Two journalists on the paper have been suspended over what editor Geordie Greig called “a terrible lapse of judgment.”
“The reporter was sent without my knowledge; it was a decision which was wrong. Two journalists have been suspended and a full investigation is now being carried out,” he said.
Earlier Mr Miliband had written to the papers’ proprietor Lord Rothermere urging him to mount an inquiry into their “culture and practices”.
In the letter he said: “I believe no purpose would be served by me complaining to the Press Complaints Commission because it is widely discredited.”
However PCC chairman Lord Hunt said in a statement: “I was deeply concerned to read Ed Miliband’s account of the presence of an uninvited journalist at the memorial service for his late uncle.
“While Mr Miliband has made clear that he currently has no intention of making a complaint to the PCC, the protection of vulnerable individuals – including bereaved family members – is at the very heart of what the PCC does, and we shall continue to follow this matter closely.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also launched an outspoken attack on the Mail yesterday, describing the paper as “overflowing with bile” about modern Britain.
“It seems to me that if anyone excels in denigrating and often vilifying a lot about modern Britain, it’s the Daily Mail,” he said.