Politics

Internet reacts to 'weird' Treasury team photo

Was the Treasury team photo staged in an Escher painting? Are they releasing a prog album along with the budget? Is the Chancellor just quite short? The internet must know.

Treasury team photo

Rishi Sunak at the peak of the Treasury team photo

The Treasury team photo has caused hilarity and consternation ahead of Rishi Sunak’s announcement of the 2021 Budget.

Ahead of the Budget, the Treasury traditionally releases an image to the media, featuring the Chancellor with his team – and, of course, starring the famous red briefcase.

This year’s edition is taken from a rakishly high angle, with the politicians arrayed on the staircase of number 11 Downing Street.

The photo immediately raised eyebrows and sparked many questions on Twitter.

The most urgent came from Londoner Ross McCafferty who asked: “The picture of the treasury team on #Budget day is literally *always* outside. Why is it during a pandemic that the Chancellor has decided he wants to have it inside? With no masks?!”

But there were stranger questions too. “Is HM Treasury releasing a budget or a progressive rock album?” asked Big Issue writer Josh Sandiford.

https://twitter.com/joshsandiford_/status/1367077209740111879

Private Eye’s Tom Jamieson worried that Chancellor Rishi Sunak may have found himself caught in a parallel dimension, saying he looked as though he was “trapped in a MC Escher portrait”.

Sky News warned that the image was “not one that will please sufferers of vertigo among our readers.”

Meanwhile, Matthew Champion, executive editor for VICE World News wondered how John Glen, Conservative MP for Salisbury, had managed to defy gravity, apparently sitting on an invisible stool.

The vertiginous picture does have the effect of obscuring the relative heights in the Treasury team. At 5′ 6″ tall, Rishi Sunak is not the most physically imposing of Chancellors.

New Statesman political editor Stephen Bush said he thought that while the angle may have looked strange, it was probably a good idea given the height differences of the group.

“When they all line up in one line it looks like they’re recreating the OBR’s [Office for Budget Responsibility] deficit projections,” he added.

Pointing to last year’s photo, the Wall Street Journal’s Mike Bird agreed that the new perspective might have been a good plan. “No joke,” he said, “they did the picture outside last year and it looked like they were letting someone’s kid hold it as a joke.”

Stick with The Big Issue today for essential comment and analysis of the 2021 Budget.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Why the general election could and should be fought on the frontier of poverty
Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner on the first day of the general election campaign
General election 2024

Why the general election could and should be fought on the frontier of poverty

From the NHS to levelling up: Here are all the broken promises after 14 years of Tory rule
General Election 2024

From the NHS to levelling up: Here are all the broken promises after 14 years of Tory rule

No Rwanda flights before election, Sunak admits – as calls for urgent asylum reform grow louder
Rishi Sunak after calling the 4 July general election
General election 2024

No Rwanda flights before election, Sunak admits – as calls for urgent asylum reform grow louder

From poverty and housing to migrant and LGBTQ+ rights – why 2024 general election has such high stakes
Rishi Sunak after calling the 4 July General Election
General Election 2024

From poverty and housing to migrant and LGBTQ+ rights – why 2024 general election has such high stakes

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know