Early reports on Twitter, from ITV North West reporter Rachel Townsend who was on the same train as the Chancellor, allege that his aide said he was unable to pay and 'couldn't really sit in standard', but that the ticket collector refused to budge. However, when asked a second time, the aide paid £160 for the upgraded ticket.
After news of the story spread on Twitter, many journalists made their way to London Euston station, where the train was headed, in the hope of asking Mr Osborne about the affair. However, according to Harry Cole
Osborne was 'smuggled' out of the goods entrance and Euston PR attempted to restrict the press.
, from user @Larrylarrylal, posted in May, suggests that the Chancellor has previous on dodging train fares: "...George Osborne tried to sit in 1st class with a [standard ticket]..."
On its website, Virgin Trains warns passengers that they will have to pay a penalty fare if they attempt to travel on a train without a ticket or try to change from standard to first class without a first class ticket.
If you do not produce a valid ticket when asked, "you could be refused travel entirely or asked to leave a train or station before you have completed your journey," it adds.