Last week, a video of Jeremy Corbyn sitting in the hallway of a crowded train on the his way to a leadership debate went viral. The footage appeared to show the Labour leader sat on the floor for an entire three-hour train journey after he valiantly declared that it would be unfair for him to upgrade his ticket to first class — where there were seats — when others ‘might not be able to afford such a luxury’. He went on to conclude that ‘this is a problem that many passengers face every day, commuters and long-distance travellers’.
However, not all passengers appear to face the problem every day — Jeremy Corbyn for one. Virgin Trains have issued a press statement where they claim that despite the Labour leader’s claim of ‘ram-packed’ service, there were seats available when Jeremy Corbyn sat on the floor in the corridor:
‘CCTV footage taken from the train on August 11 shows Mr Corbyn and his team walked past empty, unreserved seats in coach H before walking through the rest of the train to the far end, where his team sat on the floor and started filming.’
What’s more, they say that Corbyn did actually have a seat despite his claims to the contrary:
‘CCTV footage shows two images of Mr Corbyn returning to Coach H and sitting down at 11.43am, shortly after being filmed while sat on the floor and more than 2hrs before his final destination, Newcastle.’
Oh dear. How is Corbyn going to get himself out of this one? Presumably the Virgin Press Office is filled with Tories.
Update one: At present, Corbyn’s campaign team claim this is ‘a lie’.
Update two: Corbyn’s spokesman claims seats only became available after a family were upgraded to first class:
‘When Jeremy boarded the train he was unable to find unreserved seats, so he sat with other passengers in the corridor who were also unable to find a seat.
Later in the journey, seats became available after a family were upgraded to first class, and Jeremy and the team he was travelling with were offered seats by a very helpful member of staff.’
However, Mr S is not sure that this makes sense given there is CCTV footage of Corbyn walking past several empty seats at 11.10 — before he sat in the corridor and filmed the video: