The strange tale of the chancellor, the deputy prime minister and the Byron burger

By Ian Dunt

Westminster was embroiled in a bizarre row today after George Osborne was forced to defend his choice of burger.

The chancellor tweeted a picture of him eating a burger and chips while preparing for the spending review earlier this week, but his 'man of the people' image took something of a knock when it emerged the meal came from "posh burger" firm Byrons and cost £9.70.

"I was working late on a speech and I had a hamburger and the world is now talking about it," Osborne told the Today programme this morning.

"It is perfectly reasonable to have a hamburger while working on a speech."

He added: "One of the challenges for politicians, which this incident demonstrates, is that all people see of politicians is in the TV studios or the House of Commons. The point of

Twitter is to try and say something about what you are up to during the day."

Asked about the incident this morning, Nick Clegg admitted his last burger was also in Byron, where he took his children after a visit to the cinema.

"I have bought, in my time, some expensive burgers," he told LBC.

"My last burger was in fancy burger place called Byrons. I'm not going to start lying to you.

"Can I strongly recommend the Oreo milkshakes? That's actually the reason we went."

As usual for the one of Osborne's tweets, it was met by hundreds of abusive messages. Among them was a snide response from shadow chancellor Ed Ballls who wrote:

"George, what are you eating? That's not marathon-fuel."

Asked whether he would have a pizza or a curry tonight, the chancellor answered: "Pasta cooked at home... if that's alright?".