Tristram Hunt, the former shadow education secretary, has called on Jeremy Corbyn to pull out of a Christmas fundraising event organised by the “disreputable” Stop the War coalition.
Hunt called on the Labour leader not to attend the event in light of its decision to picket the Labour party’s headquarters last week and the “ugly comments” it has made about the shadow foreign secretary, Hilary Benn.
Hunt told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 on Sunday: “I don’t think that he should go there. Stop the War coalition picketed the Labour party headquarters when we were trying to run a phone-bank for the Oldham byelection, so they were preventing the election of a Labour member of parliament.
“We have also seen some pretty ugly comments from them about Hilary Benn and the fact that Hilary Benn should be sacked. And also their comments about Islamic State and about how the French almost had it coming to them. They are a really disreputable organisation. I would hope Jeremy would step back and not go to their fundraiser.”
Corbyn faced questions at a recent meeting of the parliamentary Labour party over his plans to attend the Christmas fundraiser for the group he chaired until he was elected Labour leader.
Steve Doughty, a shadow foreign office minister, questioned Corbyn whether it was appropriate to attend a fundraising event for an organisation which responded to the Paris attacks by saying that France was reaping the whirlwind of a decade of wars.
Corbyn said that a blogpost under the headline had been withdrawn by the group. But there was anger last week when the Stop the War coalition organised a demonstration ahead of the Oldham West and Royton byelection and forced the party to postpone a phone-bank campaign.