The Jewish Telegraph says that the former Labor leader was furious over allegations that he had made offensive remarks to Desmond about Israeli action against Palestinians.
The Daily Express owner Richard Desmond had told the JT that Miliband had verbally attacked Israel during a chance encounter on London’s Hampstead Heath.
Miliband’s spokesman, who had seen a full transcript of Desmond’s interview, said, “You should expect legal action and/or a complaint to the press watchdog if you go ahead with publication.”
The spokesman added, “You should be aware that we regard this account as highly defamatory.”
In the JT interview, Desmond claimed the conversation with Miliband took place between December and January. No one else witnessed it.
He added, “I was having a cup of tea when I bumped into Ed and asked him if it was true he had made all these comments about Israel.”
Desmond alleged that Miliband made certain remarks about Israel, which we have chosen not to print.
The newspaper chief suggested that Miliband had been “in such a rage. I couldn’t stop him – he was going berserk [about Israel’s actions]”.
Miliband’s spokes- man said last night, “This is an untrue account of a chance meeting. There was no rage or row.
“Ed did not use the language ascribed to him. He expressed views he has expressed in public many times before.”
Another source told the Jewish Telegraph that, far from it being acrimonious, it was a “reasonable and amicable conversation”.
Miliband referred to what he described as “a rather humorous encounter” at a dinner attended by 300 lobby journalists in January.
Apparently, following the chance meeting in Hampstead, Miliband left one of his children in Desmond’s care after the other child had run off to play on the heath.
Miliband, who lost May’s General Election to David Cameron, caused furore among British Jewry last summer over comments he made regarding the Gaza conflict.”