The car which Rishi Sunak was pictured filling with petrol to tout his new fuel duty cut did not belong to the chancellor, it has emerged.
The photograph – posted on Sunak’s social media feed as he announced the 5p cut in Wednesday’s spring statement – sparked hilarity and outrage online.
Many were incredulous that the chancellor – a former banker whose wife is alleged to be wealthier than the Queen – drives a modest Kia Rio, a family hatchback which costs as little as £13,000.
“Sunak definitely pulled up in his Tesla and gave the person in the Kia Rio £500 so he could fill up their car for the photo op,” one tweeted.
The photograph was one of 34 photographs taken by a taxpayer-funded snapper and released on the Treasury’s Flickr feed to support this week’s mini-budget.
Four of those depicted the chancellor filling the red car at the forecourt of a Sainsbury’s in New Cross, south London – while others show him inside the store.
But it has emerged that the Kia car used for the photo op belonged to a Sainsbury’s employee – with Sunak borrowing it for his PR stunt. According to The Independent, he paid for the petrol himself.
Unsurprisingly, Twitter had some stern words for the chancellor following the revelations.