SHADOW Chancellor John McDonnell has today faced condemnation for his alleged backing of a Hampshire man jailed for throwing a fire extinguisher from a roof during student riots.

Edward Woollard was jailed for 32-months after admitting dropping the device from the seventh floor of London’s Millbrook Tower during protests about student tuition fees in November 2010.

The then 18-year-old from Dibden Purlieu was among a group of 47 teenagers from Brockenhurst College who travelled to the capital to join the protest against government plans to nearly treble fees.

Now it has emerged Labour left-winger Mr McDonnell praised rioters in an alleged string of incendiary speeches which appear to support violence and intimidation.

They include occasions where he has accused the Conservatives as being “social criminals” and threatened to “confront” anyone thought to be opponents of the working class by occupying their homes and offices.

It comes ahead of the senior politician speaking at today’s Labour Conference in Brighton where he is expected to set out plans for “new economics” to redistribute wealth which will shift the burden of taxation away from low and middle earners.

In a 2011 Right to Protest rally Mr McDonnell, pictured below, appeared to praise rioters who had “kicked the ****” out of the Conservative Party’s headquarters at Millbank Tower in Westminster.

Referring to Woollard he said: “That kid didn’t deserve 36 months. Actually he’s not the criminal. The real criminals are the ones that are cutting the education services and increasing the fees...

“We’ve got to encourage direct action in any form it can possibly take.”

At a ‘Coalition of Resistance Delegates’ conference in September 2011 Mr McDonnell said: “Any institution or any individual that attacks our class, we will come for you with direct action. We will close you down, we will expose you, we’ll sit on your lawn, we’ll come into your offices, we’ll come to wherever you are to confront you.”

Mr Woollard, also known as Edward Renyard, handed himself into police in Totton after the Metropolitan Police issued pictures taken from TV footage of demonstrators on the roof of Millbank Tower on November 10.

During the riot at the building, which houses the Tory party's headquarters Woollard threw the empty metal fire extinguisher from the seventh floor as hundreds of people gathered in a courtyard below.

It brushed the leg of one territorial support officer and hit the knees of another.

He was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court and was told to serve at least half of his sentence for violent disorder in a young offenders' institution.

Mr McDonnell – who is one of new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s main allies - is today also expected to push for a Robin Hood tax on stock market trading.

Mr Corbyn yesterday defended his Shadow Chancellor in relation to comments about Woollard.

He said that throwing a fire extinguisher “was a stupid and absolutely wrong thing to do”, but added: “I think the sentence he got was possibly disproportionate to the crime that he committed.”