Jeremy Corbyn has said that he does not support the use of direct action on the streets, after his shadow Chancellor reportedly called for "insurrection" against the Government.
The Labour leader nonetheless defended John McDonnell's "colourful" language, reported by the Daily Telegraph, including in the last Parliament following student riots.
"I'm not in favour of violence on the street or insurrection," Mr Corbyn said. "I believe in doing things by persuasive, democratic means, that's what we have a parliamentary system for, that's what we have a democratic political structure for.
Appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Corbyn joined his shadow Chancellor in criticising a 32-month sentence handed down to 18-year-old Ed Woollard for throwing a fire extinguisher off the roof of Conservative Party HQ - despite Marr saying it "could have killed someone".
"It was a stupid, absolutely wrong thing to do, I think that and I think John does as well," Mr Corbyn said."[But] I think the sentence he got was possibly disproportionate to the crime he committed and I think that is the fundamental point about it."
Mr McDonnell was also quoted by the Telegraph as describing the coalition as an "elected dictatorship".
Mr Corbyn said: "The coalition government was elected by a minority, as this government has been.
"It's not words I use myself, I prefer to fight people in parliamentary terms. I don't believe in any kind of dictatorship, actually, elected or otherwise.
"John is now our shadow chancellor, John is going to put forward some great economic ideas tomorrow. You will be pleasantly surprised at how radical, how good and effective they are and how much they are going to improve the lives of ordinary people in Britain.
"Is John in favour of insurrection? No he's not - it was a colourful use of words and I am sure he would explain that."
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