George Osborne is accused of thinking he is "above the normal rules and laws" after trying to sit in first class on a train with a standard class ticket.
The chancellor boarded the train from Wilmslow in Cheshire on Friday afternoon to head to Euston, along with his special adviser. He sat in first class but was challenged by a ticket inspector because he only had a standard class ticket.
It was reported that the chancellor's special adviser told the ticket inspector that Mr Osborne could not possibly sit among the general public in standard class for the two-hour journey. The incident was resolved when the chancellor paid an extra £160 for his premium-priced seat.
It's one rule for him and another for the plebs he's so keen to sit apart from - Michael Dugher, shadow Cabinet Office minister
The Labour Party and Bob Crow of the RMT union described the incident as another example, following the "plebgate" row over Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell's tirade against police officers, of the Conservatives acting with a sense of entitlement over the public.
The stand-off was witnessed by ITV journalist Rachel Townsend who tweeted the incident as it unfolded.
Very interesting train journey to Euston Chancellor George Osborne just got on at Wilmslow with a STANDARD ticket and he has sat in FIRST— Rachel Townsend (@RachTownsendITV) October 19, 2012
CLASS. 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— Rachel Townsend (@RachTownsendITV) October 19, 2012
Shadow Cabinet Office minister Michael Dugher said: "Another day, another demonstration of how out of touch this government is. 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'."
Mr Crow said: "This says it all about this rotten Government. Here we have a millionaire Chancellor who thinks he's above the normal rules and laws. George Osborne attempting to bunk first class is this ConDem administration in a nutshell."
Mr Osborne was met by a media scrum on his arrival into Euston station (see video, below).
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17 October 2012
08 October 2012
08 October 2012