Jeremy Corbyn campaign responds to Virgin Trains' claims in 'packed train' row

Virgin Trains says it disputes the claim that the Labour leader "wasn't able to be seated"

Jeremy Corbyn campaign responds to Virgin Trains' claims in 'packed train' row

"CCTV footage 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" - Image: Virgin Trains

A spokesperson for the Jeremy Corbyn leadership campaign has insisted that the British Labour leader was unable to find a seat on a train, after Virgin Trains released images appearing to cast doubt on the original claim that the train was packed.

CCTV was released appearing to show Mr Corbyn walking past empty train seats before he was filmed sitting on the floor complaining about the "completely ram-packed" carriages.

Billionaire Richard Branson, who co-owns Virgin Trains, posted a link to the images on his Twitter account.

Mr Corbyn was travelling on the three-hour Virgin Trains service from London to Newcastle on 11 August for a leadership hustings.

A video then emerged which showed Mr Corbyn sitting on the floor, reading a newspaper, and saying "this is a problem that many passengers face every day", before calling for public ownership of the railways.

But Virgin Trains has released images which appear to show him and his team walking past empty seats before the filming began.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Jeremy for Labour campaign 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," the statement adds.

The clearest photograph released by the train operator shows the Labour leader walking past empty but reserved seats - but others are said to show him passing empty and unreserved seats.

"CCTV footage 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" - Virgin Trains

The company says the images also show Mr Corbyn sitting down in an empty seat more than two hours before getting to his destination.

A Virgin Trains spokesman said: "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 on board again."

Footage released by The Guardian, meanwhile, appears to support Mr Corbyn's claim, with other passengers seemingly commenting on the lack of seats available.

Mr Corbyn's leadership rival Owen Smith tweeted: