Corbyn secures seat on Virgin train

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Jeremy Corbyn secured a seat in a Virgin rail carriage for his latest journey as he returned to the operator following the Traingate row.

The Labour leader has been involved in a bizarre feud with Virgin supremo Sir Richard Branson after the train firm disputed his claim he was unable to find a seat on a "ram-packed" service earlier this month.

Mr Corbyn was photographed in a seat on a Virgin service from London Euston to Glasgow ahead of leadership campaign events in Scotland.

Twitter user David Rose posted an image of the Labour leader and said: "My kids just got on @VirginTrains from Euston to Glasgow with @jeremycorbyn. He has a seat. Good job @richardbranson."

Mr Corbyn's smile in the photo on the Glasgow-bound service marked a change from the irritation he expressed when challenged about the row by reporters.

He was filmed sitting on the floor of a Virgin service to Newcastle on August 11, but the train company later released CCTV images which appeared to show the Labour leader walking past vacant, unreserved seats before he complained on film about crowded carriages.

About 40 minutes into the journey, Mr Corbyn and his party were escorted to seats by train staff.

The Labour leader was clearly annoyed to be asked about the row following a speech on Wednesday but told reporters: "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, so I went to the end of the train."

Virgin Trains has previously said it was "puzzled" by the suggestion that Mr Corbyn was unable to find unreserved seats when he boarded the train because CCTV images appeared to show "they're right next to him".

Sir Richard, who co-owns Virgin Trains with Stagecoach, also got involved in the row on Tuesday, posting a link to the CCTV images on his Twitter account.

Asked why the billionaire had decided to make an issue of seating on the services, Mr Corbyn replied: "I'm very pleased Richard Branson has been able to break off from his holiday to take this issue as seriously, with the importance it obviously deserves.

"I hope he's very well aware of our policy, which is that train operating companies should become part of the public realm, not the private sector."

Virgin Trains wished Mr Corbyn a "great trip" to Glasgow.

In a Twitter message the operator said: "Welcome onboard! Hope you all have a great trip to Glasgow this morning."

Mr Corbyn arrived promptly at Glasgow Central on the 1.01pm train from London.

He was met on the platform by around a dozen supporters, including MSP Neil Findlay and former MP Ian Davidson, who escorted him to a waiting car.

When questioned by reporters about the train journey, his spat with Virgin and his support in Scotland, he repeatedly said: "Thanks very much, lovely to see you all."