Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman was accused of issuing a denial "full of pedantry and obfuscation" by the newspaper that made allegations about her historic involvement in paedophile rights campaigns.
Ms Harman and her MP husband Jack Dromey broke their silence after the Daily Mail ran a series of stories about their actions while officials at the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) in the 1970s.
The body granted 'affiliate' status to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), and is said to have lobbied for loosening of laws.
In a furious response, the shadow culture secretary condemned the allegations as "horrible and untrue" and said the Mail had accused of her "of being an apologist for child sex abuse, of supporting a vile paedophile organisation... and of watering down child pornography laws".
But a Daily Mail spokesman later said: "The belated statements of Ms Harman and her husband – full of pedantry and obfuscation – failed to answer the Mail's central points and deny allegations the Mail has not made."