Watch out UKIP! Embarassing moment Corbyn arrives in Stoke… then RUNS from interview

The Islington MP had earlier hit the streets to go door-knocking with Labour's Parliamentary hopeful Gareth Snell – who has already run into controversy for a Tweet he sent last year deeming Brexit a "massive pile of s***".

The Labour leader also met local councillor Candy Chetwynd and cradled her 17-week-old daughter Aurelia.

But he beat a hasty retreat when Press Association reporter Alex Britton asked him about previous tweets of Mr Snell's, when he described the Labour leader as "an IRA-supporting friend of Hamas career politician".

Filming the encounter, Mr Britton first asked why he had been declined an interview request with Mr Corbyn, before button holing him over the Labour by-election candidate's previous comments.

Walking briskly to a waiting car, Mr Corbyn replied: "we've done lots of interviews and we're having a great campaign, thanks."

Asked about Mr Snell's Hamas comment, which he tweeted ahead of last year's Labour leadership election, Mr Corbyn replied: "The candidate and I are great friends and we've been knocking on doors together, we're very happy."

The decision to select Mr Snell to fight the a by-election a constituency where almost 70 per cent of voters opted for Brexit has been met with bewilderment by many.

After June's referendum result, the Newcastle councillor tweeted a four line poem condemning Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

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Corbyn was filmed scarpering from a reporter in Stoke

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Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (centre) and candidate Gareth Snell (right) meet local councillor

The candidate and I are great friends and we've been knocking on doors together, we're very happy.

Jeremy Corbyn on by-election candidate Gareth Snell

The poem, which he tweeted in September, said:

“Soft Brexit, Hard Brexit

"Massive pile of S***

"Sloppy Brexit, Messy Brexit

"Quit, Quit, Quit.”

On Wednesday he tweeted to confirm he “won’t frustrate the triggering of Article 50” if elected and said “Brexit has to work for the potteries”.

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Gareth Snell and Jeremy Corbyn on the campaign trail

Mr Snell is fighting to retain the Labour-held seat of Stooke-On-Trent in the face of strong competition from UKIP leader Paul Nuttall.

In contrast to Mr Corbyn's terse response to journalists, the UKIP candidate has been far more effusive.

Mr Nuttall, who is hoping to become UKIP's second MP, told PA: If you want someone in the House of Commons to champion Brexit – real Brexit, controlling our borders, controlling our money, controlling our finances – you go out and you vote Ukip in this election."

The by-election was called after sitting MP Tristram Hunt quit to become director of London's V&A museum.

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UKIP leader Paul Nuttall is hoping to become the party's second MP

Mr Nuttal added: "I think the people of Stoke have gradually clocked on that the Labour party doesn't necessarily have their best interests at heart.

"Tristram Hunt, (his) majority was only 5,000 last time round, and that was pre-Corbyn and pre-Brexit, so we are going into this quite confident that we can pull off a shock.

"I think it's going to be tight. I think we're definitely in the game, the bookies have got us down as the slight favourites in this.

"We're running a professional campaign, there's a real buzz around the place and we're taking this election very seriously indeed."

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