#TrainGate continues as John McDonnell says Richard Branson should be stripped of his knighthood

Just when you thought the #TrainGate story couldn't get any stranger, shadow chancellor John McDonnell stepped in.

Jeremy Corbyn's most senior ally claimed Sir Richard Branson wanted to "undermine our democracy" and called for his knighthood to be stripped away.

McDonnell made the claim after the infamous #TrainGate scandal, where Virgin Trains released CCTV footage of Jeremy Corbyn walking through one of its carriages, disputing the Labour leader's claims that the train was too overcrowded for him to sit down.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks with young Labour party activists after he spoke about the arts policy of a Corbyn-led Labour government at a public meeting at the Stand Comedy Club at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
(Jane Barlow/PA)

Twitter users made fun of McDonnell's comments, including Labour MP John Woodcock.

McDonnell said: "The whole purpose of the honours system is undermined when the rich and the powerful can collect their gongs without giving anything back. It's even worse when tax exiles are given honours."

He added: "It should be a simple choice for the mega-rich. Run off to tax exile if you want. But you leave your titles and your honours behind when you go."

John McDonnell and Sir Richard Branson.

Rival Labour leader contender Owen Smith got involved too, telling LBC Radio: "That seems a bit much, to be honest. I think it was merely pointing out the reality that Jeremy didn't need to sit on the floor.

"I can't imagine we'd strip somebody's honours for telling the truth."

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