Chancellor poses in front of backdrop celebrating bitter cruise rival during visit to Southampton

Chancellor George Osborne during his visit to Southampton, pictured at Carnival UK headquarters with Cunard chief executive David Dingle.

Chancellor George Osborne during his visit to Southampton, pictured at Carnival UK headquarters with Cunard chief executive David Dingle.

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

IT MUST have seemed like a good idea at the time.

Get Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to Southampton to talk about radical new reforms to pensions to staff at Carnival UK – one of Southampton’s biggest employers – who were discussing the issue.

But Mr Osborne ended up sailing into stormy waters when he was pictured giving a presentation in front of a backdrop celebrating Southampton’s bitter Cruise Wars rival Liverpool.

He was left red-faced when presenting in front of a Cunard poster promoting its “three Queens” heading to Liverpool next year as part of the firm’s 175th anniversary.

It is the latest chapter in the long-running saga between the rival ports.

There was outrage when the European Commission gave Liverpool Cruise Terminal £17.8m.

The Daily Echo reported how the city had paid back £8.8m of the £9.2m British taxpayers’ cash to fund the project, which was topped up with £8.6m from EU Structural Funds.

Just last month, Prime Minister David Cameron was criticised after supporting plans for new £300m container port facilities in the Merseyside city while his comments suggested trade should switch from Southampton to Liverpool.

In another blow for relations between Southampton and Liverpool, Saints defender Dejan Lovren looks set to seal a move to the Merseyside club, following former club favourites Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana.

Southampton Itchen MP John Denham described the poster as a “kick in the teeth”.

He said: “I think it is a calculated insult. A few weeks ago David Cameron went to Liverpool to their container port and said the containers no longer need to go to Southampton.

“It’s inconceivable that George Osborne’s team didn’t know the poster would be in the background.”

Stewart Dunn, chief executive of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, said the incident was “regrettable”.

He said: “I cannot believe that someone would not have taken it down, realising the sensitivity of it.”

Cllr Royston Smith, leader of the Southampton Conservative group and the party’s general election candidate for the Itchen seat, said they had no control over what branding was used on the day.

He said: “He came to Southampton to promote pensions. It would have been nicer if it wasn’t there. I think it was a successful visit.”

A Cunard spokesman said: “Southampton is the home port for Cunard and is the base for Carnival House. We have over 1,000 employees here and we are proud of the contribution we make to the city. Between April this year and April 2015 we will have 52 turnaround days in Southampton, with each one contributing in excess of £1m to Southampton.”

Comments (13)

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10:40am Tue 22 Jul 14

Linesman says...

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne's constituency is Tatton, which is situated in North West Cheshire.

Perhaps he felt 'more at home' in front of an advert for Liverpool, which is considerably nearer to his home than Southampton is.

He is in charge of the country's money.

His constituency is in the North of the country.

Is it any wonder that the money is heading North?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne's constituency is Tatton, which is situated in North West Cheshire. Perhaps he felt 'more at home' in front of an advert for Liverpool, which is considerably nearer to his home than Southampton is. He is in charge of the country's money. His constituency is in the North of the country. Is it any wonder that the money is heading North? Linesman
  • Score: 0

11:45am Tue 22 Jul 14

WalkingOnAWire says...

I think what this does show very clearly is the amount of clout and influence Royston holds with the Tory top brass - i.e. none. 'It would have been nicer if it wasn't there' - masterly understatement from the great man.
I think what this does show very clearly is the amount of clout and influence Royston holds with the Tory top brass - i.e. none. 'It would have been nicer if it wasn't there' - masterly understatement from the great man. WalkingOnAWire
  • Score: 11

12:12pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Lone Ranger. says...

I cant imagine that Useless George even knows what day of the week it is let alone which City he is in ... ... mind you looking at the short report on local news last night it apears that he brought his pet poodle with him !!!
.
Ar$e and elbow springs to mind
I cant imagine that Useless George even knows what day of the week it is let alone which City he is in ... ... mind you looking at the short report on local news last night it apears that he brought his pet poodle with him !!! . Ar$e and elbow springs to mind Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 2

2:05pm Tue 22 Jul 14

one in the crowd says...

Quote .................

He said: “I cannot believe that someone would not have taken it down, realising the sensitivity of it.”

---------

As far as I am concerned, I have no iota of sensitivity regarding the poster, but it is a pity that it didn't show the view looking down on the cruise terminal and the Three Graces at the Pierhead ( including the soon to re-open Cunard Building.
Quote ................. He said: “I cannot believe that someone would not have taken it down, realising the sensitivity of it.” --------- As far as I am concerned, I have no iota of sensitivity regarding the poster, but it is a pity that it didn't show the view looking down on the cruise terminal and the Three Graces at the Pierhead ( including the soon to re-open Cunard Building. one in the crowd
  • Score: 2

2:27pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Lone Ranger. says...

one in the crowd wrote:
Quote .................

He said: “I cannot believe that someone would not have taken it down, realising the sensitivity of it.”

---------

As far as I am concerned, I have no iota of sensitivity regarding the poster, but it is a pity that it didn't show the view looking down on the cruise terminal and the Three Graces at the Pierhead ( including the soon to re-open Cunard Building.
You are more obsessed with the point scoring than anyone else on here.
.
[quote][p][bold]one in the crowd[/bold] wrote: Quote ................. He said: “I cannot believe that someone would not have taken it down, realising the sensitivity of it.” --------- As far as I am concerned, I have no iota of sensitivity regarding the poster, but it is a pity that it didn't show the view looking down on the cruise terminal and the Three Graces at the Pierhead ( including the soon to re-open Cunard Building.[/p][/quote]You are more obsessed with the point scoring than anyone else on here. . Lone Ranger.
  • Score: -1

2:46pm Tue 22 Jul 14

IronLady2010 says...

Oh dear George, you numpty.
Oh dear George, you numpty. IronLady2010
  • Score: 3

3:13pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Beer Monster says...

Three of my biggest peevs in one photo. George Osborne, Liverhampton and the organisation that said that I was "too cocky" when I had an interview there, Carnival. I shall print multiple copies for my dart board.
Three of my biggest peevs in one photo. George Osborne, Liverhampton and the organisation that said that I was "too cocky" when I had an interview there, Carnival. I shall print multiple copies for my dart board. Beer Monster
  • Score: -1

6:27pm Tue 22 Jul 14

skeptik says...

On a different note - the Blue Peter is flying from the Costa Concordia - due to be towed out after 0830hrs Thursday - this can be watched on and audio : YouReporter.it - live streaming with occasional time down for a few minutes.
On a different note - the Blue Peter is flying from the Costa Concordia - due to be towed out after 0830hrs Thursday - this can be watched on and audio : YouReporter.it - live streaming with occasional time down for a few minutes. skeptik
  • Score: 1

6:33pm Tue 22 Jul 14

one in the crowd says...

Do you notice how the Daily Echo twists things to cause trouble.

Yesterday the headline regarding George Osbourne being in Southampton

read :-

Chancellor George Osborne in Southampton to promote new pension reforms.

Today the Daily Echo twists the story to make trouble and reads :-

Chancellor poses in front of backdrop celebrating bitter cruise rival during visit to Southampton

------

I would like to point out that Liverpool is a small rival to Southampton, but is in no way BITTER.
Suffice it to say however that Liverpool will grow it's cruise business, as quickly as it can and will pull-out all the stops to ensure that more cruises and cruise ship companies utilise it's world famous port and attractions. Don't underestimate the drive and ambition that prevails in this area.
Do you notice how the Daily Echo twists things to cause trouble. Yesterday the headline regarding George Osbourne being in Southampton read :- Chancellor George Osborne in Southampton to promote new pension reforms. Today the Daily Echo twists the story to make trouble and reads :- Chancellor poses in front of backdrop celebrating bitter cruise rival during visit to Southampton ------ I would like to point out that Liverpool is a small rival to Southampton, but is in no way BITTER. Suffice it to say however that Liverpool will grow it's cruise business, as quickly as it can and will pull-out all the stops to ensure that more cruises and cruise ship companies utilise it's world famous port and attractions. Don't underestimate the drive and ambition that prevails in this area. one in the crowd
  • Score: 6

6:34pm Tue 22 Jul 14

MGBR says...

Beer Monster wrote:
Three of my biggest peevs in one photo. George Osborne, Liverhampton and the organisation that said that I was "too cocky" when I had an interview there, Carnival. I shall print multiple copies for my dart board.
Oh dear oh dear.

Cunard's 175th anniversary is next year - hence the Liverpool poster, no other reason. Liverpool is just a place in the UK, it doesn't have as much container or cruise line business and won't get the business from Southampton, and finally perhaps Carnival just didn't like you...I sincerely doubt they used the term "too cocky".

Does beg the question why choose Southampton to talk about this new pensions stuff.
[quote][p][bold]Beer Monster[/bold] wrote: Three of my biggest peevs in one photo. George Osborne, Liverhampton and the organisation that said that I was "too cocky" when I had an interview there, Carnival. I shall print multiple copies for my dart board.[/p][/quote]Oh dear oh dear. Cunard's 175th anniversary is next year - hence the Liverpool poster, no other reason. Liverpool is just a place in the UK, it doesn't have as much container or cruise line business and won't get the business from Southampton, and finally perhaps Carnival just didn't like you...I sincerely doubt they used the term "too cocky". Does beg the question why choose Southampton to talk about this new pensions stuff. MGBR
  • Score: 2

8:04pm Tue 22 Jul 14

skeptik says...

Costa Concordia - Youreporter.it - towed our 0830hrs WEDNESDAY
Costa Concordia - Youreporter.it - towed our 0830hrs WEDNESDAY skeptik
  • Score: 0

1:09am Wed 23 Jul 14

southy says...

Oh well the kiss of death.
Remember Thatcher when she visits companys and walk around on the shop floor they soon went into recivership
Oh well the kiss of death. Remember Thatcher when she visits companys and walk around on the shop floor they soon went into recivership southy
  • Score: 0

9:41am Wed 23 Jul 14

Linesman says...

MGBR wrote:
Beer Monster wrote:
Three of my biggest peevs in one photo. George Osborne, Liverhampton and the organisation that said that I was "too cocky" when I had an interview there, Carnival. I shall print multiple copies for my dart board.
Oh dear oh dear.

Cunard's 175th anniversary is next year - hence the Liverpool poster, no other reason. Liverpool is just a place in the UK, it doesn't have as much container or cruise line business and won't get the business from Southampton, and finally perhaps Carnival just didn't like you...I sincerely doubt they used the term "too cocky".

Does beg the question why choose Southampton to talk about this new pensions stuff.
"Does beg the question why choose Southampton to talk about this new pensions stuff."

It would have been arranged by Tory Central Office, who have about as much idea about Southampton as he has.
[quote][p][bold]MGBR[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Beer Monster[/bold] wrote: Three of my biggest peevs in one photo. George Osborne, Liverhampton and the organisation that said that I was "too cocky" when I had an interview there, Carnival. I shall print multiple copies for my dart board.[/p][/quote]Oh dear oh dear. Cunard's 175th anniversary is next year - hence the Liverpool poster, no other reason. Liverpool is just a place in the UK, it doesn't have as much container or cruise line business and won't get the business from Southampton, and finally perhaps Carnival just didn't like you...I sincerely doubt they used the term "too cocky". Does beg the question why choose Southampton to talk about this new pensions stuff.[/p][/quote]"Does beg the question why choose Southampton to talk about this new pensions stuff." It would have been arranged by Tory Central Office, who have about as much idea about Southampton as he has. Linesman
  • Score: 0

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