Jeremy Corbyn has been widely congratulated after booking a seat on a train.
Virgin Trains gave a ‘warm welcome’ to the Labour leader, who was pictured sitting with two children en route from London to Glasgow this afternoon, just 48 hours after he was caught up in the the ‘Traingate’ scandal.
The picture comes two days after a row erupted over whether Corbyn had been right to suggest an Virgin train to Newcastle he was on two weeks ago was “rampacked”.
That particular train ride saw the Labour leader make a campaign message, filmed from the carriage floor of the train, calling for the re-nationalisation of the railways.
The lack of seats was a central point in Corbyn’s video. He said: “This is a problem many passengers face every day on the trains. Today this train is completely rampacked...
“The reality is, there’s not enough trains. We need more of them and they’re also incredibly expensive. Isn’t that a good case for public ownership?”
But on Tuesday, Virgin released CCTV showing Corbyn had passed by empty, unreserved seats before he sat on the carriage floor to record the message.
Thursday’s move saw Corbyn applauded for reserving a seat.
David Rose tweeted the picture of Corbyn on the Glasgow train with his children, saying: “He has a seat. Good job @Richardbranson”.
The company couldn’t resist tweeting back at the happy-looking Corbyn, saying: “Welcome onboard! Hope you all have a great trip to Glasgow this morning.”
The seating in the economy carriage on the Glasgow train was reserved, Rose told HuffPost UK.
Rose also told The Jewish Chronicle that, when asked whether he had a seat, Corbyn joked: “Yeah - we reserved one this time”.
Mr Rose said Corbyn watched his children play a game of monopoly and took a picture of himself with the Labour leader.
But he added: “We very much disagree with most of Mr Corbyn’s views, especially his attitude to antisemitism within Labour.”
Corbyn may be smiling in the picture but sources suggest he was “miserable” and people around him were making jokes about seating.
After Virgin released the CCTV on Tuesday, Corbyn’s team initially denied there had been empty seats, then said the seats had bags on them, suggesting they were already taken.
He later said there weren’t enough seats for his whole team to sit down at.
Corbyn was initially slow give his version of events and The Guardian quoted a source saying the Labour leader had been “impossible to reach for some time” as the crisis unfolded because he was making jam.
YouGov has polled people on TrainGate to ask whose version of events they believed and found they overwhelmingly backed the train company.
A total of 59% said there were seats available on the train, 19% said there weren’t and 22% weren’t sure.
Tory and Labour voters viewed it differently: 78% of Tory supporters said seats were available, compared with 34% of Labour supporters.
One Corbyn supporter said the poll was unfair because it included people who didn’t agree with him.
Some in Corbyn’s campaign have suggested Virgin’s attack on him is politically motivated and a reaction to his pledge to re-nationalise railways.
His campaign director Sam Tarry said Branson and “the Establishment” were “absolutely petrified” of Corbyn.
Corbyn is due to attend a rally at 5pm in Glasgow followed by another Labour leadership hustings with Owen Smith at 7pm.
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