British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of "hypocrisy" and "spin" after CCTV footage revealed he had a seat on a train despite suggesting it was so "ram-packed" he was forced to sit on the floor.
Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Trains and one of Britain's best known entrepreneurs, took the remarkable step of releasing evidence to defend the company's reputation.
The footage showed the Labour leader walking past empty seats before sitting on the floor, where he filmed a video which was released last week in which he called for the renationalisation of the railways. Virgin released the CCTV which shows the full picture of his journey, including that he spent less than 40 minutes on the floor before staff found him a seat.
The row threatens to tarnish Corbyn's claim to be an "honest and straight-talking" politician who offers a "new politics" after the media-focused New Labour years. Chris Bryant, who served in Corbyn's shadow cabinet, said: "The biggest sin in politics is hypocrisy. I think a lot of people will feel led up the garden path by this."
A spokesman for Corbyn admitted that he had a seat for most of the journey but claimed he had initially sat on the floor because he could not find any that were unreserved, despite appearing to pass several in the footage.