- Jeff J Mitchell / Getty
- Virgin Trains have banned the sale of the Daily Mail due to its views on immigration and LGBT rights.
- However, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says he supports a free press.
- A spokesperson says Labour will lift the ban once Corbyn nationalises the railways.
LONDON – Jeremy Corbyn will lift Virgin’s ban on the sale of the Daily Mail on its trains once the railway system is nationalised, his spokesman said today.
Sales of the paper have been banned on the company’s West Coast trains in apparent protest over its editorial position on immigration and LGBT rights.
Virgin, which is owned by Richard Branson, said this week that they had ended sale of the paper on their West Coast trains due to “concern raised by colleagues about the Mail’s editorial position on issues such as immigration, LGBT rights and unemployment.”
Their spokesperson added: “We’ve decided that this paper is not compatible with the VT brand and our beliefs.
However, a spokesperson for Corbyn said on Wednesday that the Labour leader was an “enthusiastic supporter of a free press” and would lift the ban.
“Under a Labour government the railway system will be brought back into public ownership and a hundred flowers will bloom,” they said at a briefing attended by Business Insider.
Asked whether Corbyn would lift the ban, he replied that “there will be no bans on the publicly owned railway.”
The Daily Mail has accused Virgin of targeting the paper due to its views on Brexit, with a spokesperson saying that “for political reasons [Virgin] is censoring the choice of newspapers it offers to passengers”.
They added: “They gave no other reason, but it may be no coincidence that all those titles, like Virgin owner Sir Richard Branson, are pro-Remain.”
The government has also signalled its support for lifting the ban, with the foreign secretary Boris Johnson calling it “absurd” and “pompous”.
“Absurd ban on Daily Mail by Virgin! Pompous, censorious and wrong #virginontheridiculous” he tweeted.