John Harris

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Jeremy Corbyn praises Stop the War coalition as vital democratic force

Corbyn defends anti-war group as its chairman hits out at suggestion that Labour leader needs to distance himself

Jeremy Corbyn has hailed Stop the War as “one of the most important democratic campaigns of modern times”, and accused the coalition’s critics of trying to close down debate.

The Labour leader gave a staunch defence of Stop the War at its Christmas fundraising dinner on Friday night, after calls from some figures within the party for him to withdraw from the event and cut links with the group.

Related: Stop the War chair Andrew Murray: ‘Everyone sees friends at Christmas. But Jeremy, apparently, has a problem’

Related: Jeremy Corbyn wins parliamentary beard of the year by a whisker

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