Virgin Trains throw major shade at Jeremy Corbyn's 'no seat' claim

So last week there was a picture doing the rounds of Jeremy Corbyn sat on the floor of a Virgin Train because it was so full. He was filmed sitting on the floor with a coffee, brown paper bag and a copy of Private Eye magazine during the London to Newcastle journey.

Talking into the camera he said: “Is it fair that I should upgrade my ticket whilst others who might not be able to afford such luxury should have to sit on the floor? It’s their money I would be spending after all.

“Today this train is completely ram-packed. The staff are absolutely brilliant, working really hard to help everybody. The reality is there are not enough trains, we need more of them - and they’re also incredibly expensive.” So good, so very man of the people.

HOWEVER, there is a twist in the tail, as Virgin Trains is now offering up the CCTV footage showing Jeremy Corbyn's claims that he had to sit on the floor were false.

It said: “Seats were available on the train in which Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn was filmed sitting on the floor, Virgin Trains has found.

CCTV footage taken from the train 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.

The same footage then shows Mr Corbyn returning to coach H and taking a seat there, with the help of the onboard crew, around 45 minutes into the journey and over two hours before the train reached Newcastle. Mr Corbyn’s team carried out their filming around 30 minutes into the journey.”

A spokesperson for Virgin Trains added: “We know that some of our services on our east and west coast franchises are extremely popular, and it can be hard to find a seat. This usually happens in particular circumstances, for example when there’s a big sporting event, or on the first off-peak train out of London. Unfortunately we can’t do anything about cup finals or fares regulation, which could spread demand much more effectively if it was less of a blunt instrument. We have discussed regulation with the Government at various points over the last two decades and we’d be delighted to work with Ministers if they were interested in reviewing the fares structure for long distance services, with the aim of reducing the overcrowding that can sometimes occur.

“We can, however, rely on our fantastic on-board teams to help customers whenever possible and we’re delighted they could help Jeremy in this case. We can also invest in our services - for example, we’ve converted a first class carriage to standard on our 21 nine carriage trains on west coast, providing an extra 5500 standard class seats each day.”