Stoke MP Tristram Hunt slams “disreputable” Stop The War coalition

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Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Tristram Hunt has criticised the Stop The War coalition for what he labelled “pretty ugly” online abuse of Labour MPs.

Mr Hunt hit out during his appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show after this week’s Parliamentary vote on UK bombing campaigns in Syria.

Many Labour MPs who voted for airstrikes have complained they received abuse and threats online.

One MP who has received such abuse is Hilary Benn, who made a speech in favour of airstrikes in the House of Commons shortly before the vote.

Mr Hunt also used his TV appearance to condemn Stop The War’s picketing of Labour Party headquarters.

He began by saying the anti-war group had been “very irresponsible with their language and activities”.

Stop The War coalition picketed the Labour Party headquarters when we were trying to run a phone-bank for the Oldham by-election, so they were preventing the election of a Labour Member of Parliament,” said Mr Hunt.

“We’ve also seen some pretty ugly comments from them about Hilary Benn and the fact that Hilary Benn should be sacked.

“Also their comments about Islamic State, their comments about how the French almost had it coming.”

This referred to a Stop The War blog post, which has since been removed, arguing that last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris were prompted in part by Western foreign policy.

Mr Hunt urged his party leader Jeremy Corbyn not to attend a Christmas fundraising event held by Stop The War.

Mr Corbyn is a long-standing supporter of Stop The War and was the organisation’s chair for four years before he stepped down in September, shortly after being elected Labour leader.

Mr Hunt said: “I think they’re a really disreputable organisation and I would hope Jeremy would step back and not go to their fundraiser.”

StaffLive has contacted Stop the War and are awaiting a comment.

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