independent

Monday 21 April 2014

'McDonalds doesn't deliver' - George Osborne defends gourmet burger meal

George Osborne eating a burger and chips as he puts the finishing touches to the spending review (George Osborne/PA)
George Osborne eating a burger and chips as he puts the finishing touches to the spending review (George Osborne/PA)

GEORGE Osborne has defended his late-night meal of a gourmet burger and fries, insisting: "McDonalds doesn't deliver."

The Chancellor tweeted a picture of himself eating the takeaway as he put the finishing touches to the spending review which saw £11.5 billion cut from government spending.

 

His meal, from upmarket burger chain Byron, was criticised as being out of touch by some social media users.

 

A "Classic" Byron 6oz hamburger with lettuce, tomato, red onion and mayonnaise costs £6.75 with fries an extra £2.95. If cheese is added, the price of the burger rises to £7.95.

 

Mr Osborne ordered the meal from a Byron branch in Waterloo, over a mile away from Whitehall, with ten McDonald's outlets - where burgers start at 99p - closer, the Sun reported.

 

The Chancellor, who admitted he was "partial to a quarter pounder with cheese," told ITV's Daybreak programme: "Well McDonald's doesn't deliver, I was working late in the office."

 

Mr Osborne tweeted the picture of the meal along with cans of Diet Coke and a coffee, at around 10pm on Tuesday with the message: "Putting final touches to the speech."

 

Mr Osborne said Twitter posed problems for politicians who wanted to give a greater insight into their work.

 

He told the programme: "As a politician you've got this dilemma, which is the only thing people see of you is you're in the House of Commons, in a TV studio.

 

"The point about Twitter is to try and tell people more about what you're doing every day, and there I am working late on my speech, and I've got a takeaway hamburger, but it puts you on the front page of the Sun. It's an occupational hazard."

 

The newspaper used the picture of Mr Osborne eating the burger with the headline "Shamburger".

 

In an interview with the London Evening Standard in October last year Byron founder Tom Byng said burgers were "perfect austerity food".

 

He added: "What do you turn to when you're a bit miserable? Stuff that isn't super-healthy. A hamburger is the ultimate comfort food."

 

On his weekly radio phone-in on LBC 97.3, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg revealed that he is also a fan of Byron burgers.

 

He said the last time he went out for a burger, it was after seeing a film with his children at a cinema in Fulham Broadway.

 

"Very near there, there is a burger place - a fancy burger place called Byron," he said. "It was actually quite a fancy burger, I have to say."

 

He then went on to extol the qualities of the Byron milkshakes.

 

"Can I strongly recommend - I'm allowed to do this, this is not commercial advertising - the Oreo milkshakes at Byron's. They are something else," he said.

 

"That is actually the reason we went. It wasn't for the burgers, it was my kids saying 'We want the Oreo milkshakes'."

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