#ticketgate: George Osborne in row with Train Manager for sitting in First Class with Standard ticket.
By Dr John Williams, Site Editor.
George Osborne MP, was caught today sitting in First Class on a Virgin Train service on a Standard Class ticket.
According to reports posted online by the ITV journalist Rachel Townsend, George Osborne boarded the 15.11 train to London Euston station at Wilmslow in Cheshire on Friday afternoon and went directly to sit in a first-class carriage despite only having paid the standard fare.
An aide (read slave) approached the Train Manager and stated that he “..is travelling with George and he has a standard ticket but can he remain in first class?”
The Train Manager correctly said “No”.
The aide then said “Osborne couldn’t possibly sit in standard class”.
The Train Manager replied saying “If he wants to stay it’s £160.”
The aide said “He couldn’t pay and he couldn’t really sit in standard.”
The Train Manager quite rightly refused to budge and continued to collect tickets for the rest of the passengers in First Class who actually had First Class tickets. The Train Manager later told the ITV journalist that Osborne had agreed to cough up the £160.
A statement from Virmin Trains said:
“The chancellor was in first class with a standard-class ticket. It wasn’t a dispute or even a discussion with him. An aide of his spoke to the train manager and asked to pay the upgrade. We’re not aware of any dispute.”
He said the total paid was £189.50, but said it was unclear whether that was the price of an upgrade, or whether Osborne had had to pay for an entirely new ticket.
So Virmin will you be sending a sly refund to him and sending a donation to the Tory Party as a thanks for being given a 9-12 Month Extension on your franchise?? Hmm I wonder.
Apparently via a carefully worded statement issued by the Treasury
The Chancellor had a diary change and he and his aide got a different train. They say that their existing seat reservations did not apply.
The train was crowded so they decided to upgrade from standard class to first class and they always intended to pay the difference.
It says the Chancellor is not aware of any row with a ticket officer.
Funny that the ITV journalist tweeted that George made absolutely no attempt to sit in standard class, despite what the Treasury statement states.