George Osborne tries to travel first class on standard ticket
CHANCELLOR George Osborne has been forced to pay a £160 train ticket upgrade after sitting in first class with only a standard ticket.
He boarded the train at Wilmslow, Cheshire, to travel to London Euston with his special advisers yesterday.
Virgin Trains confirmed the Chancellor’s political aide had initially refused to pay the £160 supplement on his behalf, telling the ticket collector Mr Osborne did not want to move into standard class. It is believed the adviser agreed to pay after a second request.
A Metropolitan Police officer was reported to have told the train manager in advance that Mr Osborne did not have the right ticket.
The Chancellor did not comment on arrival at Euston.
The stand-off was observed by TV reporter Rachel Townsend, who was on the train and tweeted: “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.”
Ms Townsend said later: “George Osborne got on the train with aides at Wilmslow and went straight to first class. Then his aide approached the ticket collector right next to me. He said he is travelling with George and he has a standard ticket but can he remain in first class? The guard said no.
“The aide said Osborne couldn’t possibly sit in standard class. The guard replied saying if he wants to stay, it’s £160.”
Virgin Trains spokesman Jim Rowe said Mr Osborne had been treated like any other passenger.
Shadow cabinet office minister Michael Dugher said: “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’.”
It was not Mr Osborne’s first indiscretion. He was caught claiming a £440.62 bill from taxpayers for a 200-mile car journey from Cheshire to London in November 2005.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 2 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West