Corbyn 'Traingate' film did not breach data law

Jeremy Corbyn on board a train Image copyright Virgin Trains
Image caption Mr Corbyn was filmed walking past reserved, but empty, seats

A train company which released CCTV footage of Jeremy Corbyn looking for a seat did not break data protection law, a watchdog has ruled.

The Information Commissioner's Office found Virgin Trains East Coast should have taken better care to obscure other passengers' faces, however.

The footage showed him bypassing seats.

So-called Traingate rolled into action when the Labour leader claimed he could not find a seat on the train in August last year.

He was filmed sitting instead on the floor and talking about the train being packed, in a video on the Guardian's website.

He said more trains were needed, they were incredibly expensive and asked if that was a case for public ownership?

Misleading reports

Sir Richard Branson, who co-owns the rail operator with Stagecoach, responded and posted a link to the images of Mr Corbyn walking past empty seats on Twitter.

Mr Corbyn was seated later in the journey and subsequently said he had wanted two seats together.

The commission investigated the video release after media reports about the incident.

It ruled Virgin had a legitimate interest in using the footage outside published conditions - to correct misleading news reports potentially damaging its reputation and interests.

It said Mr Corbyn would have had different privacy expectations to other passengers.

'Minding own business'

Of three other people recognisable in the footage, the ICO said the train operator had infringed on their privacy when they were "simply minding their own business".

But there will be no further action as it was a "one-off" that had been unlikely to cause distress, the ICO said.

A Virgin Trains spokesperson said they welcomed the report, which acknowledged the incident's unique nature.

The spokesperson said the company had already implemented the improvements to procedures that were suggested.

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