Osborne In Disabled Parking Space Storm

George Osborne is facing more criticism over welfare reforms after he was photographed getting into a car parked in a disabled space.

The picture shows the Chancellor being picked up by his official car in a restricted bay, after he stopped for lunch at the Magor services on the M4 in Monmouthshire.

Senior Conservative sources said he had been to buy food from McDonald's and was not aware the Land Rover had been illegally parked.

"George does not condone this in any way," one source said.

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of disability charity Scope , told the Daily Mirror the picture revealed "how wildly out of touch the Chancellor is with disabled people in the UK".

"They will see this as rubbing salt in their wounds," he said.

"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."

The photo, taken on Wednesday at the services near Newport, emerged after the Chancellor linked the case of child killer Mick Philpott to the coalition's benefits shake-up.

Mr Osborne will hope the episode does not prove damaging for him, amid claims that welfare reforms - including housing benefit cuts for people with spare rooms - will hit the disabled.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls had earlier accused the Chancellor of "nasty and divisive" tactics for his comments about the Philpott case.

Mr Osborne had said: "... I think there is a question for government and for society about the welfare state, and the taxpayers who pay for the welfare state, subsidising lifestyles like (Philpott's). And I think that debate needs to be had."

Philpott, who was jailed for life for killing six of his children in a fire, lived in a council house in Derby, claimed thousands of pounds in benefit and refused to get a job.

The latest storm surrounding the Chancellor follows the row he was embroiled in last year over whether he had tried to travel first class using a standard ticket.