Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn made an appearance in North Devon last night, despite a bumpy ride to Barnstaple on the Tarka line. The 68-year-old politician stepped on stage at a sold-out North Devon Labour Party fundraiser at The Factory in Barnstaple, before a performance by Billy Bragg. On stage in the 800-capacity venue, he received a warm welcome and rallied the crowds with a speech including an impression of foreign secretary Boris Johnson. Bumpy ride Backstage before his appearance, Mr Corbyn told the Gazette he was delighted to be in Barnstaple, which he had travelled to by train. He said: Ive never been on the Tarka line before, Ive always wanted to; its a bit bumpy, but its fun. And Ill tell you, it was packed, the train, so we stood most of the way, but people were ever-so-friendly. I had long chats with lots of people. Unfortunately my cup of coffee fell over during a bump on the line so we had to clean up the train as well. But it was fun, it was nice and people were very, very good. I travel everywhere by train so I was quite happy, it was just a good, nice feeling on the train. Local connections Mr Corbyn has family connections to Tiverton, Exeter and Plymouth, and said he visited the county a lot as a child. I cant pretend I was born in Devon, I was born in Wiltshire, he added. I know politicians are very good at claiming they were born in several places, its not possible; you can only be born in one place. Mr Corbyn was joined backstage by Mark Cann, who has stood for the North Devon seat as the Labour candidate in the last two general elections. Speaking of Labours chances in the next election, Mr Corbyn said: We got up to over 21 per cent in the general election, a big improvement; Labour is second all across Devon. Were increasing support, a huge increase in party membership everywhere and since the general election Im very keen on campaigning for our party. Key issues Mr Corbyn said transport infrastructure and broadband were key issues that needed to be addressed in North Devon. It is very beautiful, the Tarka line, but it is slow and it does need improvements, he said. The issues of economy and infrastructure investment are very important. If you look at the population structure, North Devon has a disproportionately large number of elderly people, its well over 25 per cent-or-so, whereas national average would be probably about half that, and a disproportionately smaller number of young people, and therein lies a lot of a tale I suspect. Partly people wish to retire to North Devon, and I think thats a wonderful thing to do because its such a beautiful place. But its also opportunities for young people, and economic development in the future. The key has to be transport and broadband infrastructure. Fairer school funding Mr Corbyn also said he believed there needed to be fairer funding for schools, particularly for small, rural communities. He added: I think education should be the most exciting and brightest time of childrens lives and it shouldnt be a time of stress about school funding or their parents going through lots of stress of trying to pay for extra lessons and extra-curricular activities because the community as a whole cant provide them. We owe it to our children. Musical evening My Corbyn appeared on stage after appearances from Small Town Jones and Amy Newton. Headlining the evening was musician Billy Bragg. Billy told the Gazette: Its not a part of the country I often get to come and play. One of the problems about Barnstaple is its a bit of a Norwich, really, in the sense that its not on the way to anywhere. Im fortunate that Im between tours so that I could come and play. Last week I was in New York and next week I was in Iceland, so Barnstaples kind of on the way from New York to Iceland. Im a member of the Labour Party in the South West and to be able to come and do something for South West Labour is quite important to me.