Jeremy Corbyn was unreachable for some time during traingate as he was making jam, according to the Guardian.
During controversy following a statement by Virgin which accused Corbyn of lying about how full a train was, his team had difficulty getting hold of him, the report said.
The media had reported four different statements from Labour, some of which appeared to contradict each other.
The Guardian said:
“One Labour source compared the campaign’s chaotic approach to that of a “pound shop Malcolm Tucker” — referring to the foul-mouthed spin doctor in political satire The Thick of It. Another complained that the leader was impossible to reach for some time on Tuesday because he was making jam.”
Labour’s response to the crisis appeared contradictory. First, a Labour spokesperson told Buzzfeed Virgin’s statement wasn’t true.
“That’s a lie. It was full and he gave his seat up so a woman could sit down. Others were sat in the aisles too!”, they said.
Next, Labour released a statement saying Corbyn had been unable to find unreserved seats.
“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 the seats by a very helpful member of staff.
“Passengers across Britain will have been in similar situations on overcrowded, expensive trains. That is why our policy to bring the trains back into public ownership, as part of a plan to rebuild and transform Britain, is so popular with passengers and rail workers.”
Later, during an interview with Sky News, Corbyn said that he had walked past unreserved seats so he could find a place next to his wife:
“Yes, I did walk through the train. Yes I did look for two empty seats together so I could sit down with my wife to talk to her. That wasn’t possible”, he said.
But the previous evening, a spokesperson for Corbyn told the Mirror: “That line about only wanting to sit with his wife is nonsense and not from us.”
The Labour leader is known for his work-life balance. In July, as a Labour coup to remove him as leader raged, he attended his allotment association’s annual get together for members.
Earlier in the year he said in an interview:
“I always make time for my allotment. You like a dry summer because the weeds don’t grow. You water what you need to water and the weeds can sod off.”
The revelation got the usual treatment on twitter.