Today marked the coalition’s second comprehensive spending review, a hugely important set-piece in the political life of this government. This year’s review covers government spending in 2015-16, with George Osborne outlining another £11.5bn of cuts – should he still be in office.
With big set-piece events like this, one would expect a laser-like focus from his comms team, laying the groundwork for this hugely important statement across both social and traditional media. However, the night before the review, the chancellor’s twitter followers were treated to a rather awkward shot of the man himself, working on his speech and eating a greasy-looking burger and chips:
This single tweet sent the Westminster Twitterati into a frenzy, with the BBC’s political correspondent Norman Smith dedicating several tweets to #burgergate:
This twitter noise led to the story being picked up by a large number of national publications, with even the right leaning papers, such as The Sun and Telegraph, running pieces criticising the Old Etonian’s ham-fisted attempt to appear like a ‘man of the people’ a few hours before announcing cuts.
Ultimately, the burger blunder has served to blur the message that the Chancellor was trying to deliver – of a straight-talking man bringing down public spending – and instead opened him up to all sorts of eye-rolling and mockery. Not clever PR.
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