Conservative MP and former cabinet minister John Redwood. Photograph: Getty Images.
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John Redwood: I don't understand why Carswell has defected to Ukip

Leading Tory eurosceptic says Carswell's decision doesn't make sense after Cameron's EU referendum pledge. 

The most puzzling aspect of Douglas Carswell's defection to Ukip is that he had got what he most wanted: a promise of an in/out EU referendum from David Cameron. Indeed, the PM has gone further and vowed to resign if he is to unable to deliver on his pledge after the general election. At his press conference with Nigel Farage this morning, Carswell declared that the Tories were not seeking "real change" in Britain's relationship with the EU. But if true, this still leaves him and others free to campaign for a No vote when the referendum comes (something, as I noted yesterday, that only Tories have guaranteed). 

It's for this reason that many of Carswell's eurosceptic colleagues are bemused and angered by his decision. Bill Cash, the EU's most vociferous parliamentary critic, accused him of "self-defeating political vanity" and said he would help put Ed Miliband in No.10.

I've just been speaking to John Redwood, another famed eurosceptic, who told me that he didn't understand Carswell's decision. He saidL 

It's a curious decision by Douglas, it's too late really. I could just about have understood it if he had defected a couple of years ago, when he and I and others were pressing for the Conservative Party to say that the EU relationship didn't work, we were pressing for a renegotiation, and we were pressing for the promise of a referendum. I would have urged him then not to do it, I would have thought we could probably win in five. 

Now we've won it's very curious to leave, isn't it? I want to stay and see it through. My message to Douglas, if he'd told me beforehand, would have been 'look, we're very close to winning now, we've got the offers we want, and we've got to see it through and deliver.' If he is seriously worried that the Prime Minister won't negotiate a strong enough package, he needn't worry because the British people will then vote to get out; you've got the popular lock on the door that Douglas always wanted. 

Redwood added that he thought it was "extremely unlikely" that others would follow Carswell and defect.  "I couldn't name anybody who's going to do that, and I know most of them pretty well. There's nobody as independent as Douglas. I wouldn't have been able to predict Douglas's movements, because he always operated largely on his own." 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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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