Stop the War Coalition
Stop the War Coalition has accused the media and some MPs of a 'smear campaign'Getty

The Stop the War Coalition is a victim of a "witch-hunt" and a "smear campaign" conducted by MPs and the media, according to the controversial anti-war group. The organisation made the claims after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was urged to not attend the group's Christmas fundraiser on 11 December after its activists staged a demonstration outside Labour's London headquarters, making "ugly comments" about shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn.

The group has also faced scrutiny from the press after it published an article (since deleted) saying the Islamic State- (Isis-) linked terror attacks in Paris were in reaction to "western support for extremist violence in Middle East".

The group, in an "it is the war party that has a reputation problem" 10 part listicle, said: "This smear campaign is being pursued by MPs and journalists to discredit the anti-war case and champion the fourth war on a Muslim country in fourteen years," the group claimed

"We assure them that it will not deter us from continuing our campaign against successive governments' foreign policy, which has worsened the situation in the Middle East and made the whole world more dangerous. We are encouraged by rapidly increasing membership, a huge spike in donations, and growing support for our protests."

The post comes after it emerged that Caroline Lucas had quit as a patron for the organisation. The Green MP for Brighton Pavilion said she stepped back from the organisation because of her schedule and "in light of some recent Stop the War Coalition positions that she didn't support".

A spokesman for Lucas said: "Caroline stepped back from the Stop the War Coalition a few weeks ago. Her busy parliamentary and constituency schedule means that she doesn't have time to fully engage with the role of a patron and, in light of some recent Stop the War Coalition positions that she didn't support, she felt standing down was the responsible thing to do."

Meanwhile, Labour MP Tristram Hunt urged Corbyn, a former chair of the group, not to attend or speak at Stop the War's Christmas fundraiser. "I don't think that he should go there," Hunt told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. "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."