UK minister forced to cough up over train ticket gaffe
British Chancellor George Osborne has been forced to pay a £160 (€196) train ticket upgrade after sitting in first class with only a standard ticket.
The cabinet minister boarded the train to Euston at Wilmslow, Cheshire, before settling into first class with his special adviser.
But he was then challenged by a ticket collector who refused to allow the chancellor to remain in his premium-priced seat -- unless he paid the extra.
His special adviser reportedly said Mr Osborne, number three politician in the cabinet, could not possibly remove himself to sit among the general public in standard class for the two-hour journey to London.
The embarrassing gaffe, described as a "stand-off", was observed by ITV reporter Rachel Townsend, who was seated nearby.
The journalist said: "George Osborne got on the train with aides at Wilmslow and went straight to first class.
"Then his aide approached the ticket collector right next to me. He said he is travelling with George and he has a standard ticket but can he remain in first class?
"The guard said no. The aide said Osborne couldn't possibly sit in standard class. The guard replied saying if he wants to stay it's £160."