Too good for the rest of us? Osborne in first class train row
George Osborne embroiled the Conservatives in another class-laden row today, after he refused to leave his first class carriage to sit in the main part of a Virgin train.
The chancellor was found in the carriage with a standard ticket when a train manager asked him to move, but his aide refused and eventually paid the £160 supplement.
Luckily ITV reporter Rachel Townsend was on the same train and could tweet the developments as they occurred, prompting a tidal wave of amusement and mockery online.
"Very interesting train journey to Euston Chancellor George Osborne just got on at Wilmslow with a STANDARD ticket and he has sat in FIRST CLASS…" she tweeted.
"His aide tells ticket collector he cannot possibly move and sit with the likes of us in standard class and requests he is allowed to remain in First Class.
"Ticket collector refuses… I am a carriage away from the action but have asked ticket inspector if he was going to let him stay "no chance".
Later, she wrote: "£160 for First Class upgrade… aide says no!..
"Breaking news: George Osborne pays £160 to stay in first class!"
The row quickly prompted a statement from shadow Cabinet Office minister Michael Dugher.
"Another day, another demonstration of how out of touch this government is," he wrote.
"Just like Andrew Mitchell, George Osborne obviously thinks it’s one rule for him and another for the plebs he’s so keen to sit apart from. So much for ‘we’re all in it together’.”