Manning ally: "The antics of Assange ... reflect negatively on us all"

David House, an ally of Private Manning, speaks out against Julian Assange

David House, close friend of alleged Wikileaks source Private Manning and one of the US Government's key witnesses in the grand jury aimed at indicting people involved in the organisation, has launched a forthright attack on Julian Assange, the head of Wikileaks who is currently esconsed in the Ecuadorian embassy where he is seeking asylum.

House, who tweets as VoxVictoria, wrote the following (read from the bottom, as ever):

As long as #WikiLeaks remains icon of the Open Government movement, the antics of Assange will continue to reflect negatively on us all. 

As long as #WikiLeaks is controlled by Assange, the shortcomings of Assange's leadership will continue to put WikiLeaks' supporters at risk. 

The alleged actions of Bradley Manning have not been edified by the missteps of #WikiLeaks under the direction of Julian Assange. 

I have and will continue to place foremost priority on the support of Open Government whistleblowers and activists. #WikiLeaks 

Assange deviated from these core values. Either he must be replaced at #WikiLeaks, or WikiLeaks must be displaced within OpenGov movement. 

Please, donate to the Bradley Manning Defense Fund: https://t.co/gdoq0nL6 #Manning #WikiLeaks 

With Assange slightly incommunicado in the embassy, it remains to be seen how this attack on his leadership will go down within Wikileaks and the wider movement.

David House arrives to testify at the Wikileaks grand jury on June 15. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

Photo: Getty
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Jeremy Corbyn sat down on train he claimed was full, Virgin says

The train company has pushed back against a viral video starring the Labour leader, in which he sat on the floor.

Seats were available on the train where Jeremy Corbyn was filmed sitting on the floor, Virgin Trains has said.

On 16 August, a freelance film-maker who has been following the Labour leader released a video which showed Corbyn talking about the problems of overcrowded trains.

“This is a problem that many passengers face every day, commuters and long-distance travellers. Today this train is completely ram-packed,” he said. Is it fair that I should upgrade my ticket whilst others who might not be able to afford such a luxury should have to sit on the floor? It’s their money I would be spending after all.”

Commentators quickly pointed out that he would not have been able to claim for a first-class upgrade, as expenses rules only permit standard-class travel. Also, campaign expenses cannot be claimed back from the taxpayer. 

Today, Virgin Trains released footage of the Labour leader walking past empty unreserved seats to film his video, which took half an hour, before walking back to take another unreserved seat.

"CCTV footage taken from the train on August 11 shows Mr Corbyn and his team walked past empty, unreserved seats in coach H before walking through the rest of the train to the far end, where his team sat on the floor and started filming.

"The same footage then shows Mr Corbyn returning to coach H and taking a seat there, with the help of the onboard crew, around 45 minutes into the journey and over two hours before the train reached Newcastle.

"Mr Corbyn’s team carried out their filming around 30 minutes into the journey. There were also additional empty seats on the train (the 11am departure from King’s Cross) which appear from CCTV to have been reserved but not taken, so they were also available for other passengers to sit on."

A Virgin spokesperson commented: “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.

A spokesman for the Corbyn campaign told BuzzFeed News that the footage was a “lie”, and that Corbyn had given up his seat for a woman to take his place, and that “other people” had also sat in the aisles.

Owen Smith, Corbyn's leadership rival, tried a joke:

But a passenger on the train supported Corbyn's version of events.

Both Virgin Trains and the Corbyn campaign have been contacted for further comment.

UPDATE 17:07

A spokesperson for the Jeremy for Labour campaign commented:

“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.”

A few testimonies from passengers who had their photos taken with Corbyn on the floor can be found here