Branson Denies Corbyn Forced to Sit in Corridor on His Train

Mike also put up a couple of posts this week about another controversy to hit Jeremy Corbyn. A few months ago the Labour leader released a video of him sitting in the corridor while travelling by Virgin Trains, Richard Branson’s rail franchise. Now Beardie Branson has released footage apparently showing Corbyn walking past empty seats. Of course the right-wing media has leapt on this, as Mike says, as it appears to show Corbyn is lying.

But Mike in his first article asks his readers who they’re prepared to believe – Branson, or Corbyn and the people he was travelling with? Since the video was released, other passengers have come forward confirming Corbyn’s story that the train was indeed ‘ram-packed’. Mike also points out that the video shows Corbyn walking past reserved seats, and that it is known that the train company upgraded other people to first class, after they realised he and his companions were on the floor.

He also makes the point that Branson has every reason to dispute the Labour leader’s account. Corbyn has said that he wants to renationalise the train network. Branson would lose out if this occurred, quite apart from the fact that his section of the rail network has not improved to the extent that is actually required. See Mike’s article:

In a further article, Mike quotes Steve Walker, who knows this area of the law better than him, to point out that Beardie Branson and the Beeb may have broken the Data Protection Act by showing the footage. There is nothing in the law which allows such footage to be used by a company to defend its reputation, and by putting it on YouTube and then giving to the Beeb, both Branson and the Beeb may have broken the law, and specifically the provision against using footage that specifically shows one individual.


Yesterday the ‘I’ joined in the right-wing attack on Corbyn, running the headline ‘Corbyn’s Train Seat Campaign Derails’ on the front page, with a photo of Corbyn walking past apparently empty seats. Here’s the photo.

Corbyn Train Pic

If this is supposed to show that Corbyn was lying, it has not done so. All the seats in the picture are reserved, as can be seen from the paper tags fixed to them.

And regardless of whether Corbyn was right about this specific journey, he is right in calling for the trains to be renationalised. The train service is now more expensive in public subsidies, and more efficient than it was in the last days of British Rail. I’ve been on train journeys, where I’ve been forced, with others, to sit in the corridor because the train is literally jam-packed. And there are frequent delays. On the rail network stretching from the south-west of England up to Scotland, for example, there are a frequent delays of anything from a few minutes to well over an hour regularly. Privatisation hasn’t, and isn’t working. Even Olga Maitland, the very Tory peer, wrote a piece in the Mail a few years ago recommending that the trains should be renationalised.

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3 Responses to “Branson Denies Corbyn Forced to Sit in Corridor on His Train”

  1. jeffrey davies Says:

    poor old richard hay beggared by jeremy hel have that poor cup out arms arms arms for poor ouch wait is that is hospitals going to ouch

  2. Jayne Gribbin Says:

    God I wish more people would look beyond the tabloid / BBC headlines, I live in a small working class/ council estate in Keighley west Yorkshire and it saddeneds me so much that all my neighbours moan about lack of buses (they stop at 7pm & we only have one an hour during the day) bedroom tax, cuts to benefits, council tax, having to wait 2 weeks to see a doctor, but none of the people I talk to vote AT ALL… They believe the newspapers and don’t see any difference between the political parties, I’ve talked till I’m blue in the face about how different Corbyn is and the policies he has that would help all of us here, but people are so ground down, especially by the last couple of years of austerity, just wish I new how to do more.

    • beastrabban Says:

      Sorry to hear about that, Jayne. We’ve had problems with the buses in my part of the world, too. One of our local bus services was going to be taken off, but now apparently it’s to be retained but under a new operator. It’s not as bad as the service you describe, however. We’re also having problems seeing our doctors, due to the fact that they’re having trouble recruiting staff. And then there’s cuts to benefits, the council tax and so on. But all over the country, a lot of people do believe that politicians are all the same, there’s no difference between the political parties, what’s the point of voting and so on. As to what the solution is, I don’t know. You can talk to some people until you’re blue in the fact, and it won’t make a bit of difference. You just have to carry on and hope that sooner or later, some of it will stick.

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