Ridicule as top Jeremy Corbyn ally says he takes train to 'obscure' Orkney

Karie Murphy with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Karie Murphy with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
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A close ally of Jeremy Corbyn who is helping to lead Labour general election campaign has been ridiculed after suggesting he likes to travel by train to the Northern Isles.

Karie Murphy, the Labour leader’s former chief of staff, suggested Mr Corbyn “loves to go on trains to obscure places”.

At a ‘town hall’ meeting of Labour staff at the Party’s HQ, Ms Murphy - who is Scottish - is reported to have said: "In essence, there's nowhere where we won't go. Anybody who knows Jeremy knows that he loves to go on trains to obscure places in the middle of nowhere whether it's the South West or whether it's Orkney."

The comments were seized upon by other parties. Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland Alistair Carmichael posted on Twitter: “I can think of no better start to my election campaign than a visit from Jeremy Corbyn - especially after this.

“Obviously the train only goes as far as Thurso. Presumably Karie Murphy expects him to walk the rest of the way.”

And SNP deputy Westminster leader Kirsty Blackman said: “Before boarding his next train at Platform 9 3/4, Jeremy Corbyn must apologise for the dismissive and frankly insulting remarks from his senior advisors."

Ms Murphy was moved from her role as chief of staff earlier this month, leaving Mr Corbyn’s private office at Westminster to take on a senior job in the Labour election campaign based at the party’s HQ.

Labour denied the change was a sacking or demotion, despite reports of a growing rift at the top of the party between Mr Corbyn’s allies and shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.