Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sat on the floor for his journey from London to Newcastle last week to meet Owen Smith for their hustings.
He said: “This is a problem that many passengers face every day, commuters and long-distance travellers. Today this train is completely ram-packed. The staff are absolutely brilliant, working really hard to help everybody.
“The reality is there are not enough trains, we need more of them – and they’re also incredibly expensive.”
But, alas, while Jez was sitting on the floor complaining about the company and hailing the merits of public ownership, there were vacant seats.
Film footage released today shows Corbyn sitting on the floor after walking past empty and unreserved seats – in coach H, to be precise.
Sir Richard Branson has clearly taken issue with it.
According to the company, CCTV footage below was filmed at 11.07am, approximately 7 min after departure from King’s Cross on August 11. It shows Jeremy Corbyn walking past several empty, unreserved seats in Coach H:
CCTV footage below shows Mr Corbyn walking past reserved but empty seats at 11.08am in Coach F:
CCTV footage below shows Mr Corbyn returning to Coach H and sitting down at 11.43am, shortly after being filmed while sat on the floor and more than 2hrs before his final destination, Newcastle:
A Virgin Trains spokesperson said: "Our people deliver first-rate customer service day after day and we’d like to thank Jeremy Corbyn for highlighting this with the media. He’s also right to point out the need to introduce more trains on our route – that’s why we’re introducing a brand new fleet of 65 Azuma trains from 2018, which will increase seating capacity out of King’s Cross by 28 per cent at peak times.
"But we have to take issue with the idea that Mr Corbyn wasn’t able to be seated on the service, as this clearly wasn’t the case. We’d encourage Jeremy to book ahead next time he travels with us, both to reserve a seat and to ensure he gets our lowest fares, and we look forward to welcoming him onboard again."
A spokesman for Corbyn said: “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.”
Earlier this month Corbyn made 10 pledges, arguing for public ownership of railways.
And Ladbrokes are now offering odds of 100/1 for Corbyn to appear in Virgin Trains' next advertising campaign.