October 19th, 2012

Virgin and Treasury As One on Osborne Story

The Osborne train story has been blown out of the water by Mitchell, coincidentally  but it’s worth noting that Virgin Trains has come down on Osborne’s side over the train row. The Treasury spokesman claims:

“The Chancellor got a different train than planned due to diary change following a series of meetings in his constituency. As he had no seat reservation on the new train which was crowded, he decided to upgrade – and obviously intended and was happy to pay. An aide sought out the train manager and paid the ticket upgrade.”

 And the Virgin Trains statement echoes:

“Rt Hon George Osborne, Chancellor, was travelling on Virgin Trains’ 15:11 Wilmslow to London Euston service this afternoon (19 October). 

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.”

Almost word for word. Can anyone think why the government might be back in favour with Virgin?


  1. 1
    Pawn Sandwich says:

    Franchise franchise franchise.

  2. 2
    Earl of Croydon says:

    What makes me think this isnt the end of this !!!!!!!!!!

  3. 3
    Selohesra says:

    Has Burnham resigned yet?

  4. 4
    millibrand says:

    he’ll be toast next wednesday

  5. 5
    Fuct says:

    “blown out the water by Mitchell, coincidently”

    Yes, coincidently. This is a problem.

    What bombshell does Cameron have to bury bad news under on Sunday?

    Surely Mitchell going was supposed to set the agenda for the week?

    Now what?

    maybe the MSM can get to work on the rent boys and girls?

  6. 6
    jonn spain says:

    Tell that to your shithead media everthing and everything for a story fucking X factor press/

  7. 7
    Greedy Git says:

    He is resigned to making as much money as he can

  8. 8
    Tooth fairy says:

    So Virgin are lying cnuts too!

  9. 9

    What a news day. Time to publish this years expenses I think. No one will spot the two night worker polish persons for emergency plumbing service. £3,250.

  10. 10
    The Streetband says:

  11. 11
    a non says:

    Will there now be a standoff between what the ITV reporter sitting in another carriage who alleged to have seen and heard and reported the story and the 2 statements now being given by Virgin and the Treasury?.

  12. 12
    gramma says:

    If your ballcock wasn’t broken Bill, I am sure it is now

  13. 13
    genghiz the kahn says:

    If Cameron was a PR spiv, why is his government so fucking inept when it comes to dealing with the media.

  14. 14
    genghiz the kahn says:

    Had the journalist paid the right fare?

  15. 15
    Jimmy Savile says:

  16. 16
    Anonymous says:

    is virgnity still in?

  17. 17
    stun says:

    I think she was in pleb class. May be a bit foolish of them to rubbish an ITV reporter’s account of the whole thing though. Poor PR at its worst.

  18. 18
    Aunty Matter says:

    It didn’t stop the BBC giving toilets Maguire a free platform to spout the lie about Osborne though.

  19. 19
    Tay King-dePisse says:

    Forty years from now, when he is deceased or better still, a doddering Lord, retired train crews will emerge from the woodwork to claim that Gideon Osborne was a right prat and would always give them grief, but that sort of thing was covered up because “That’s the way it was done back then; if you wanted to keep your job, you had no choice but to stay schtum, and you had nobody to complain to because who would listen to a lowly pleb anyhow? Where Number 10 or 11 or anyplace in Downing St. is concerned, you’re always in the wrong, because how dare you insult a man who is doing so much for his Queen and Nation? Oh yeah, maybe Plod could get away with it, like with that Mitchell bloke, if you remember, but not me…”

  20. 20
    stun says:

    Crossed comments there! I think that everything after the word ‘upgrade’ in the CCHQ statement was bollocks, including of course, the (totally disinterested) Virgin Trains’ statement.

  21. 21
    Greychatter says:

    Virgin gave the correct version of the story – Good.

    But it doesn’t do any harm for the public to keep a watchful eye on our money the Politicians are spending – the first class fare will still be debited to the taxpayers.

  22. 22
    Bill D'Sarse says:

    So a non story then?

    Sometimes I despair with the BBC and other left leaning tabloids. It’s as if the Labour party have designed a new form of politicswhilst they are in opposition – let’s call it mosquito politics – no actual point to it’s existence but bloody annoying and something that has to be dealt with whilst other, more important matters take a back seat.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    Twatterati Hater says:

    Never enough said in just 140 characters. It maybe that the message actually went along the lines of:

    Ticket inspector on my train just got a high five: george osborne tried to sit in 1st class with a std tkt. Inspector said NO problem George, let me get your ticket and you can pay me for it. By the way – who is that tw*t behind you dibbling away on his phone like a demented ferret?

    Just too many characters eh?

  25. 25
    Anonymous says:

    Going back 12 years or so, Cherie Blair had a penatly fare for not having the right ticket.

    “THE ticket inspector who made Cherie Blair, the Prime Minister’s wife, pay a £10 penalty fare for travelling on a train without a ticket has been sacked.


  26. 26
    Beardie Branson in a pickle says:

    Virgin on the ridiculous it seems.

  27. 27
    genghiz the kahn says:

    Beware of hubris.


    By David Harrison, Transport Correspondent12:00AM GMT 31 Dec 2000
    THE ticket inspector who made Cherie Blair, the Prime Minister’s wife, pay a £10 penalty fare for travelling on a train without a ticket has been sacked.

  28. 28
    UKIP.i.am says:

    Millionaireband will be calling for an independent enquiry because Osborne upgraded to first class. A shocking indictment of Tory toffs.

  29. 29
    UKIP.i.am says:

    It only needs a Tory minister to look at someone now and there will be calls for him to resign. That’s a weak PM and Cameron should go before he is pushed. But he won’t. He will hang on until he loses the next election by a landslide. All right wingers might as well vote UKIP now because the Tories are toast.

  30. 30
    UKIP.i.am says:

    Sometimes I think the gutter press deserve everything they get from Leveson.

  31. 31

    So this is how we see it Mr Branson You say everything was above board and you get to keep the west coast main line contract
    Everybodies appy kushdi

  32. 32

    Labour fighting for the working classes !

  33. 33
    UKIP.i.am says:

    What they really needed was a lying policeman on hand to say Osborne had called them all f*cking plebs.

  34. 34

    It’s so obvious that Osborne’s head is so far up his arse that he thought he could save a few quid and still claim the full amounts for him and his aids tickets
    He wrongly thought that some menial pleb wouldn’t dare question such a high flying celebrity as GeorgeOsborne as to the class of his ticket !

    WRONG !

  35. 35
    HenryV says:

    You can bet that job was filled by somebody whose name was less English sounding.

  36. 36
    OnBenefits says:

    Close down ITV

  37. 37
    Anonymous says:

    what is wrong with a senior minister of the UK government traveling by first class rail. JC when I was a young man working in local government it was a privilege available to everyone from middle management upwards. Are you all commies?

  38. 38
    It doesn't add up... says:

    Looks to me as though this is another Mousetrap… it’s the policeman what done it.

    The BBC revealed that the travellers were Osborne, his PA, and a Met Officer from the protection squad.

    It would seem that on boarding the crowded train, Osborne and PA rapidly decided to adjourn to first class, while plod rapidly decided to inform the train manager that the chancellor was onboard without a first class ticket (and please make an incident of it?). It seems quite probable that Rachel Townsend of ITV was spotted (perhaps she had some ITV kitbag/clothing?) by the officer, and briefed. She was by her own account not an eyewitness, but merely reporting hearsay.

    I also note the following details about Wilmslow station:

    Ticket office opening
    Monday-Friday 05:40-20:40
    Saturday 05:40-20:40
    Sunday 07:45-21:00
    Self-service machines
    Collect from counter
    Collect from machine

    At the entrance to the subway adjacent to the current Virgin Machine

    Accepting CARDS only

    Penalty fares

    Penalty Fares do not apply when travelling from Wilmslow station.


    So there is a load of nonsense being talked about penalty fares too.

    In the mean time, it’s obvious that most of the Met protection squad should be replaced. They’re not up to doing their jobs. I hope the one involved in this (was he Mitchell’s antagonist?) had to stand all the way to Euston.

  39. 39
    It doesn't add up... says:

    I also note this tweet from Rachel:


    She was egging the train manager on herself.

    Agent provocateuse?

  40. 40
    It doesn't add up... says:

    Didn’t she get a first class ticket to take her snap of Osborne?

  41. 41
    It doesn't add up... says:

    There was a lying policeman on hand… and it seems he started the whole affair by rushing to seek out the train manager as soon as he ( a member of the Met Office “protection” squad) had boarded to tell him to make an incident of it.

  42. 42
    It doesn't add up... says:

    How did his tribunal go? Or was there a D notice on reporting it?

  43. 43
    It doesn't add up... says:

    Not sure why, but I have a couple of posts that have gone into moderation with some salient details.

    A link to a Rachel Townsend tweet excluded from Guido’s report earlier) that reads:

    I’m prepping the ticket collector for a scrap! #getGeorgeinstandard

    and some speculation that has a ring of more than plausible about the role of the police, with some of it actually reported by the BBC…

  44. 44
    Anonymous says:

    How’s this for a theory : member of Chancellor’s team buys half a dozen standard tickets, as usual. Everyone travels first class, as usual, no problems. First thing Monday morning, member of Chancellor’s team claims the cost of first class tickets, as usual. They were unlucky this time but so what, easy come easy goes.

  45. 45
    Corrie L'Anus says:

    He wasn’t in First Class ad scamming too was he??? Mind you h is a Scouser!!

  46. 46
    Corrie L'Anus says:

    Perhaps he will declare War on the SNP and invade Stirling with the Lowlanders??? Salmond on a pikestaff along with his Jimmy Krankie sidekick would work for me!!!

  47. 47
    Corrie L'Anus says:

    ‘Virgin on’ the ridiculous…move along now, nothing to see here!! Gideon may be a complete tw*t but he is hardly of the rails this time!! Oh come on ,it is Friday and the ale has seeped in!!

  48. 48
    BBC fuck children says:

    How about a non story lied about by a biased reporter hoping for a scoop gets picked up by left wing fucktard media and reported as fact. This was on the NBC website as a series of tweets with nothing else saying this was a “row” over the ticket. Clearly it wasn’t it was bullshit. Still waiting for the beebs coverage of the IMF report that liebor had actually managed to make more of a fuck up of the economy than previously thought but guess non story bullshit is more important to the kiddie fiddlers at the been

  49. 49
    ukiplocal says:

    So they both agree he was cheating but the rules allowed him to buy his way out of trouble, or rather – his aide could buy his boss out of trouble.

    If you or I did that I do not imagine the hairy faced guy’s servants would be so helpful.

    Things must be pretty tough if HMT only provide the Chancellor with second class tickets. Time to batten down the hatches?

  50. 50
    CEO Sense says:

    I don’t see a contradiction between Virginia, treasury and itv, so why are we saying itv is not in line?

  51. 51
    nigelforengland says:

    Surely the real scandal is that it cost £189-50p to upgrade to First Class, for a single, one way ticket on a not very long train journey.

    No wonder Branson wants to keep the franchise.

  52. 52
    Met Office Armed Response says:

    Was the protection officer from the ‘Met Office’ called Michael Fish ?

  53. 53
    Moby dick says:

    does bbc fuck children poster pay his licence fee?

  54. 54
    It doesn't add up... says:

    Not so: there are no penalty fares for those boarding at Wilmslow according to National Rail Enquiries.

  55. 55
    arch-bisch or york says:


  56. 56
    arch-bisch of york says:

    it seems a lowly scribe done a typo

    he will be dealt with

  57. 57
    Anonymous says:

    Correct x 10000

  58. 58
    Hawkeye says:

    + plenty

  59. 59
    Hawkeye says:

    “ITV Granada reporter Rachel Townsend witnessed a dispute between a ticket collector and the Chancellor’s aide . .”
    “After initially refusing to pay the extra £160, she reports, Mr Osborne eventually gave in and paid the difference to apparently settle the dispute.”

    Virgin Trains spokesman said:
    “An officer from the Metropolitan Police, escorting the Chancellor, alerted the train manager in advance that Mr Osborne did not have the correct ticket.”
    “At no time was there a disagreement or a refusal to pay for the upgrade.”

    Spot the difference.
    No story here, other than for the retarded left.

  60. 60
    Fish says:

    No she walked from pleb class into the first clss carriage to take her phoo. She should have been charged for the upgrade like Osborne was.

  61. 61
    Trigger says:

    As GO evidently paid the correct fare for his trip, (an has a Virgin too attest too such) what is the fucking story?

  62. 62
    Go get 'em Guidio says:

    Remember Osborne only ‘upgraded’ when confronted by a ticket inspector

    These politicians really do think they have an entitlement to our money & they wonder why most of us dislike them. Some are saying “it’ll give politicians a bad name” as if they don’t have a stinking reputation now

  63. 63
  64. 64
    Fish says:

    We all have to show our tickets to an ‘inspector’. We call them train managers now – so that shows what you know, and in anycase you’re wrong. The aide went to find the TM to let him know that they were sat in first.


  65. 65
    suet says:

    Their trains smell of turds from end to end.

  66. 66
    PC 46 says:

    So the reporter on the train was indeed merely stirring the shit for all she was worth. Hope her editor gives her a bollocking for being so untruthful.

  67. 67
    Sobvious innit says:

    That he was so useless at PR was why he decided to go into politics. As a sine qua non, both professions require the constant spouting of untruths.

  68. 68
    Sobvious innit says:

    Plus ca change…

  69. 69
    Sobvious innit says:

    But he believes that the majority of us actually want to be/stay in the EU. So clearly his finger is right on the pulse of the people.

  70. 70
    Sobvious innit says:

    Agree. Where does the “confronted” come from?

    Another shit stirrer..

  71. 71
    Not entirely convinced ... says:

    So what about the account given by the ITV journalist? Selective? Wrong? MIsheard? Misunderstood (given that the amount quoted covered both passengers)? And who paid for the close protection officer? Or are the two statements just a little too close for comfort?

    I wish I cared ….

  72. 72
    Not entirely convinced ... says:

    … for two passengers …

  73. 73
    MB. says:

    Surprised the police trade union has not jumped on the bandwagon with this story or don’t they have members in the BTP who they can get confidential documents from?

  74. 74
    Anonymous says:

    So, if the stories were different, it indicates there were shenanigans. And if the stories are the same it indicates there are shenanigans.

    Spot a problem with that line of reasoning Guido?

  75. 75
    The Dirty Rat says:

    he decided to upgrade – and obviously intended and was happy to pay.

    Of course he bloody was, we are paying for it.

  76. 76
    nonymouse says:

    he’s got form on this, it is not an oversight, see tweet from May 28th:

    The point is: is he claiming full 1st class fare when he gets away without paying the supplement on these regular trips? Would be a nice little earner.

  77. 77

    He was happy to pay rather than being fined like the rest of us plebs would have been
    nice to have been given a choice , we wouldn’t

  78. 78
    The Dirty Rat says:

    What have we got next folks? Oh yes, the irrelevant emails between Cameron and Brooks – LOL.
    The ConLibs, the government that just keep giving.

  79. 79
    Outlier says:

    Of course they are: headed by slimy, lying crook Branson – what more could one expect?

  80. 80
    Aunt Mat says:

    Nice story.
    Well constructed. Well done.

    However, it fails to take account of what the Plebs on the train heard with their own ears.

    Once again, who are we to believe?

  81. 81
    george tthe blue engine says:

    all aboard!

  82. 82
    ayatollah Livingstone says:

    Does anybody know why EX mayor Ken Livingstone was escorted to the FRONT OF THE QUEUE at the Orbit in the Olympic park. I thought Ken Livingstone shunned privilege. He should have been at the back of the queue like the rest of us. Would love to hear what Miliband thinks about Livingstone’s decision to return to Press TV. A channel that is CURRENTLY UNDER EU SANCTIONS ! Best of it is he’s on Labour’s national executive committee. Anyone from the Labour party got a view on this ?

  83. 83
    Rt Hon Gordon Brown PhD says:


    Paying fares is for the little people

  84. 84
    Rt Hon Gordon Brown PhD says:


    the law is for the little people

  85. 85
    Anonymous says:

    Yes we would. I’ve done the same myself. Standard ticket, no eats, decided to sit in first and paid the upgrade when the ticket chap came round.

  86. 86
    Am I Sitting? says:

    Vox populi

  87. 87
    Am I Sitting? says:

    Privatise it that will cure the problem

  88. 88
    sekwaf odiug says:

    Don’t we know it

  89. 89
    Jim says:

    Never let the truth get in the way of a good media story.
    Always follow the Money.

  90. 90
    ulydfkyfxljh says:

    But they’re plebs. Who would you believe – a man of upstanding character who went to Eton, or a bloody pleb?

  91. 91
    Andrew says:

    There’s stupid and arrogant, and then there’s a Minister thinking he could get away with not paying the upgrade, and I just don’t believe that Osborne is that stupid or arrogant. It’s a pity to let facts spoil a good story, but I have to buy the official lime . . . this time.

  92. 92
    Tom Catesby says:

    ‘An aide paid the upgrade….’ Was that after he was nicked?

  93. 93
    Tom Catesby says:

    It is an offence punishable by a fine to travel without the correct ticket.There is also of course, the resulting criminal record, which is clearly referred to on the fare dodging posters one sees at rail stations up and down our fair realm.

  94. 94
    Tom Catesby says:

    I do Andrew.

  95. 95
    The Plebiscite says:

    There’s nothing wrong with him travelling first class if he wants to pay the difference from the standard fare himself. He’s a millionaire & gets paid enough by the state to fund himself.

  96. 96
    Strictly come dancing judge. says:

    Easy peasy, you are in 2nd its a bit tight, 1st has more bum room. ‘Copper go and upgrade us’ says Georgie. Copper hurrys along. All ensconsed in 1st, job done. Windowlickers and carpet sniffers palpitate and social media meltdown. Remember this Guidoites Cameron was in PR, if he wont imagine the Mcmonumental fuck ups that would have arisen.

  97. 97
    Ticket Chap says:

    Got my eye on you next time laddie.

  98. 98
    Trevor fuckwit says:

    Stuff him down a badgers sett, and see how he likes it in a 303 cross sight.

  99. 99
    Taxfodder says:

    As much as the Westminster drones deserve a kicking for other looting activities one can’t help feeling this train ticket story is a non story.

    Ed Balls often travels first class as do loads of MPs so what!

    Clearly they have to get around to do their job for us, so I don’t begrudge them a decent ride to do it and/or a pie and a pint along the way for that matter.

    In any case first class Brit Rail is hardly the last word in posh travel especially at those daft prices but still much cheaper than a chaffered limo I bet.

    Nah! another example of petty small minded bollocks you would normally expect from the usual suspects…is that the best they can do?

  100. 100
    A reporter from the Daily Planet says:

    It would appear that Mr Osborne has form when it comes to train tickets .

  101. 101
    Yvonne from The Colliers Arms Clydach says:

    Well here in Clydach we dont have any trains .

    If I want to go to Llanelli I have to catch the bus ( or two to be precise ) .

    There is no first class on the bus . We all go second class see .

    Now I have never seen my MP on the bus but I have seen my local councillor and we had a nice little chat .

    So my point is you dont really need first class at all when you hold public office .

  102. 102
    Bluebottle says:

    Isn’t that a criminal act ?

    Stop hitting me officer with your truncheon .

  103. 103
    Cinna says:

    As a regular passenger in first class on this service (every week) this is a non-story.
    This is quite a common scenario where people upgrade. On many occassions the train manager will announce that upgrades are available.

    Move along please…nothing to see here!

  104. 104
    alexsandr says:

    This was constituency business so this would be covered by the commons fees office, so he would only get 2nd class. MP’s cant claim for first class. He could not get his department to pay cos he wasnt on government business.

  105. 105
    fartinatrance says:

    Exactly. This is a non event. Done an upgrade most trips by train.

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