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I have done exactly the same as Osborne, sat in First when there was no room in Standard and then paid the difference on demand. This is what Virgin Trains confirm that Osborne did but then a journalist always reports their 'truth' because there isn't a story in the real truth.

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From todays Telegraph:


"The Chancellor is one of 460 MPs who have not sought to claim for a first-class train seat in the past year.


However, high-profile politicians who have claimed for first-class journeys include Ed Balls, Yvette Cooper, Frank Field and Alistair Darling on the Labour benches, Francis Maude from the Conservatives and Chris Huhne from the Liberal Democrats."


"Patrick McLoughlin, the new Tory Transport Secretary, has claimed eight first-class tickets worth up to £147 so far this year. Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat trains minister, has been reimbursed for nine first-class fares.


The loophole works because MPs are allowed to claim the cost of a first-class ticket if it is cheaper than the standard class “any-time” fare - the most expensive standard class fare, available for short-notice journeys.


A first class ticket bought at short notice would be more expensive than this type of ticket, and could not be claimed on expenses.

However, if the MP buys the first class ticket in advance then compares the price to what the standard class fare would have been at short notice, the first class ticket can work out cheaper - allowing the cost to be claimed back from the taxpayer."


I do that quite a lot when travelling by train.... Last time I went to London to do a job at a store on Oxford Street, I bought my first class ticket a week or so in advance. My customer; also travelling from Warrington only booked his ticket the night before and his company rules were that last minute tickets could only be second class. He paid £110.00 more than I did for the return journey!! :D

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113 Labour MPs, 48 Tories and 19 Lib Dems have claimed first class rail tickets over the past year. Two Plaid Cymru and three Scottish National Party members bring the total to 185.


- More than 50 MPs have been reimbursed for at least 10 first-class rail journeys, with 14 of these members claiming 20 or more


- Tom Harris, the Labour Glasgow MP, has submitted claims for 40 first-class ticket. Guto Bebb, a Tory with a Welsh constituency, submitted 36.


- Tom Clarke, another Scottish Labour MP, took 28 business or club-class flights, the most by any parliamentarian.


- Of 24 MPs who recouped the cost of luxury flights, 14 were Labour MPs, one was a Tory, six were Lib Dems, and three were members of the SNP.


- Mike Crockart, the Liberal Democrat, was reimbursed for 27 business or club-class flights between London and his Edinburgh constituency, each worth up to £461.

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Sounds extremely complicated Baz, guess it would be easier to take the car? :unsure:


I gave up driving to London years ago Obs.... 1 hour 59 minutes now to the centre of London from Warrington as opposed to god knows how long in the car!!

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