A row has broken out after a rail passenger was allegedly threatened with being reported to police due to the smell of his feet.

Joe Mason said he had been 'victimised, humiliated and made to feel like a second class citizen' by a member of Southern Rail staff after taking his shoes off on a train.

Southern Rail said it was investigating the incident but denied these claims.

Andover Advertiser:

On Monday, the store security detective had got on the 10.13am train from Southampton Central to London Victoria and then took his shoe off due to painful blisters on his foot.

He claimed that before the train left the station he was approached by the ticket conductor, who told him to put his shoe back on as other passengers had complained.

Joe said: "I was shouted at by the member of staff, who told me that I smell and that I need to sort out my body odour. I was even told that I am dirty.

"I attempted to explain that I had a medical condition that results in my feet blistering and that removing my shoe helped to ease my pain.

"The Southern Railway staff member then told me I was lying and even threatened to get the transport police if I did not put on my shoe."

Mr Mason, from Portsmouth, travels to work on the train regularly and said he has not encountered any issues before.

He works as a security guard six days a week and is constantly on his feet, which he said contributed to the condition.

He said: "I was humiliated and embarrassed in front of a train carriage of people - no one should be made to feel like that."

In response to Joe's account of events, a spokesperson for Southern Rail said: "We continue to investigate this incident; however, our on-board supervisor was responding to complaints from other passengers in the carriage and strongly refutes these claims."