Osborne denies ticket dispute

The Chancellor George Osborne paid a £189.50 upgrade after boarding a first class train carriage with a standard class ticket this afternoon. The Treasury said Mr Osborne was not aware of any row with a ticket officer.

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Miliband: 'Osborne train incident shows a government that is out of touch'

When asked about the incident of George Osborne apparently being caught with the wrong ticket on a train to London, Ed Miliband said, "it's part of a pattern of events with this government, they seem totally out of touch with most people.

"The incident with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the train is just the latest example, along with Andrew Mitchell, along with cutting taxes for millionaires is a government that is out of touch and standing up for the wrong people."


What the newspapers say about Osborne train incident

  • The Telegraph uses the 'Great Train Snobbery' headline with a picture of Mr Osborne in his first-class seat above the caption 'Not for moving'.
  • The Sun's front page promises 'Two 1st class Tory c**k-ups' and carries a picture of the smiling ticket collector John McGann.
  • The Independent also pairs the story with Andrew Mitchell's decision to quit, using the headline 'Mitchell quits at last – but then Osborne makes a first class howler'.
  • The Financial Times reports on speculation that Mr Mitchell's resignation may have been timed to knock the Osborne affair off today's front pages.


Virgin Trains: 'No refusal to pay for upgrade'

A Virgin Trains spokesman said:

Rt Hon George Osborne, Chancellor, was travelling on Virgin Trains' 15.11 Wilmslow to London Euston service this afternoon (October 19).

The Chancellor, who was travelling in first class accommodation, held a standard class ticket. As soon as the train left Wilmslow, an aide went to find the train manager to explain the situation and arrange to pay for an upgrade.

It was agreed that the Chancellor would remain in first class and an amount of £189.50 was paid by the aide to cover the upgrade for Mr Osborne and his PA.

The situation was dealt with amicably between the train manager and George Osborne's aide. At no time was there a disagreement or a refusal to pay for the upgrade. Nor was there any discussion between the train manager and Mr Osborne.

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