Uncontrolled Daily Mail readership has been 'damaging' for Britain and would be capped by a Labour government, Gordon Brown said last night.
He added: 'The fact that we have had uncontrolled Daily Mail readership over the last decade, I think has been a mistake and has been damaging.'
The government believes that the concentration of high numbers of Daily Mail readers in areas of middle England has led to local tensions resulting in sporadic outbreaks of violence.
'Some areas of our country have been swamped by waves of Daily Mail readers, placing unbearable demands on normally liberal supplies of patience and tolerance. Apoplexy amongst the Daily Mail readership community is on the increase,' Mr Brown said. 'Ordinary folk can't be expected to remain patient for ever.'
A Labour government is pledged to set annual limits on Daily Mail readership figures and to introduce Guardian Living in the UK tests for the paper's readers.
'People will be expected to recognize basic liberal values, demonstrate an understanding of commonsense as well as having a basic grasp of reality,' Mr Brown said.
He refused to confirm reports that some Sun readers were being held in a detention centre.