Did the police set up George Osborne’s disabled parking bay story?
The car was parked in a restricted parking bay at the Magor M4 service station. The Chancellor was inside at McDonald’s.
Richard Hawkes, of the disability charity Scope says:
“They [the disabled] will see this as rubbing salt in their wounds. Many are already struggling to make ends meet, yet the chancellor’s response has been to cut vital financial support and squeeze local care budgets.”
It “shows how wildly out of touch the chancellor is with disabled people in the UK”.
The Guardian then adds:
George Osborne’s use of disabled parking space ‘wildly out of touch’
The Mirror’s Alison Phillips writes:
George Osborne parking in a disabled space shows he thinks he is above the rules
Does it? He had his car photographed and the picture published on thw front page of a national paper. If only the Mirror would do that for every public figure who parked inconsiderately. She adds:
So, if any further proof was needed of what George Osborne thinks about the rest of us, here we have it.
Tom Utely wrote in the Mail:
Whenever I see George Osborne on the telly, I remember a friend’s brilliant observation that he always looks like an aristocrat in a powdered wig, peering nervously through his carriage window at the Parisian mob on the eve of the French Revolution. Indeed, the poor man has about him a permanent air of haughty disdain for his fellow man, mixed with a touch of cruelty and a hint of fear.
Most organs remind readers that Osborne’s car is worth £50,000.
The Mirror sets about compiling a dossier on Osborne’s parking:
Labour MP John Mann was yesterday contacted by someone who claimed to have seen Mr Osborne parking in a mum and baby space in Hull. Mr Mann said it was clear Mr Osborne regularly used disabled parking spaces, adding: “It shows the contempt George Osborne has for the disabled. He should be stripped of all responsibilities for taxing disabled people.”
But what about the facts? One Mirror reader explains them well:
The Range Police Protection Officer and it was HE, the police driver,who having dropped off the minister to purchase whatever in the store, then drove and parked the vehicle in the Disabled Bay. How apart from people wanting to score some points against the Minister can he be in anyway to blame for this drivers action, which although inconsiderate is not an offence when done by a Police Officer on duty.
Did the copper park there to set Osborne up, to show him as being above the ‘plebs’?
And what about the Mirror’s story “George Osborne ‘parked in ANOTHER disabled bay on gallery visit'”?
A couple who saw our story told us they spotted the Chancellor’s ministerial car in a space clearly marked for Blue Badge holders only.
Disabled Fiona McInnes and husband Roger saw our story yesterday then told us that they had also spotted the Chancellor’s ministerial car in a space clearly marked for Blue Badge holders only.
Osborne was on a vit to the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
The couple said they clocked Mr Osborne’s chauffeur in a disabled bay nearest to the entrance at an art gallery. Roger, 57, said: “I was driving around trying to find a space and his driver was sat there waiting for him. It was noticeable because it is such a big car – it was a Jag or similar, certainly his ministerial car. We managed to park, because there were other spaces, but he was still blocking a space for someone who is disabled.”
Roger and Fiona, 56, who has MS, spotted the parking blunder in January last year.
And, then, 19 paragraphs later, the Mirror adds:
A spokeswoman for the gallery said: “We had a visit from the Chancellor at the time of our Clare Woods exhibition. It was a private visit to see the gallery…We reserved two car parking spaces for the visit, including one of the five onsite car parking bays designated for Blue Badge holders.”
So. His police driver had been told to park there.
Such are the facts.