LONDON -- If there’s one sound nobody expects to hear at a Paralympic gold medal ceremony, it’s booing - let alone the sound of the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium crowd jeering in unison.
But that’s exactly what happened Monday evening when British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who is in charge of steering the country’s economy out of its current doldrums, was introduced to present medals for the men’s (T38) 400-meter race.
Video clips of Osborne's embarrassed reaction quickly went viral.
His anticipated cuts to public welfare spending, which have angered many in the disabled community, may have been behind the huge boo.
Adam Hills, disabled comedian and host of Channel 4’s “The Last Leg” program, joked: “Who went, ‘Hmm, who's the best person to give out medals to disabled people? I know, the guy in charge of funding cuts for disabled people. That won’t go wrong!’”
A recent poll shows Osborne to be the most unpopular member of the British government, with 56 percent of voters saying he’s doing a “bad job” and 48 percent saying he should lose his job altogether.
Osborne seemed unfazed by his lack of popularity.
“If I was trying to win a popularity stakes, there are some easy things I could do. I could spend a lot more money – that might make me popular in the short term,” he told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday. “It’s not the right decision... In a difficult environment, it’s not surprising that the Chancellor is not the most popular member of the government.”
Cameras are swarming Prince Harry once again, as he steps out for the first time since his Las Vegas photo scandal, but this time they are catching him doing good works, visiting sick children and appearing at the Paralympics. NBC's Michelle Kosinski reports.
Prime Ministers get booed too
Obsorne wasn’t the only one to feel the crowd’s disdain. Over at the aquatics center, his boss Prime Minister David Cameron was also met with jeers.
Some booing could be heard as he stepped up to present 17-year-old British swimmer Ellie Simmonds with her gold medal for the 200m individual medley.
In this case, though, wild cheers erupted in favor Ellie, drowning out much of the booing and keeping the focus firmly on the champion.
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