The Tories' much vaunted election poster campaign was in tatters on Saturday night after it emerged that the featured "road" was in fact a picture taken in Germany.
Chancellor George Osborne said last night that it was "British road" shown on the election poster which promised the party would keep Britain on the "road to a stronger economy".
"It's a British picture, a British road," he told Channel 4 News, after rumours began to swirl on Twitter about the pictures.
The original image from the Conservative billboard
The picture itself comes from iStock, run by the picture agency Getty Images and was taken by German photographer Alexander Burzik six years ago, though it has been digitally altered.
The photograph taken from the iStock photo agency
The colours have changed, the sky altered and a gap in the trees has been created, with some further fields added to the background.
Burzik told Channel 4 News that the original photograph had been taken near his home town of Weimar, in central Germany.
He later told another Twitter user Elaine O'Neill, aka @scattermoon, that "the sky and other elements" had been taken from other images, but the road was from his picture.
I have just had confirmation from *the photographer himself* that the Tory road election photo is indeed from nr Weimar, Thuringia, GERMANY.
— Elainovision 2015 (@scattermoon) January 3, 2015
Some Tories on Twitter have defended the use of the photograph, despite it being from Germany.
So what if the photograph was taken in Germany? A reminder that our economy is set to overtake theirs in 25 years. pic.twitter.com/M8frYhTGGb
— Daniel Hannan (@DanHannanMEP) January 3, 2015
But the gaffe has particularly enlivened Ukip supporters.
— Chris Hodgson, UKIP (@ChristopherUKIP) January 3, 2015
Apparently the road in the Tory election poster is in europe. Weimar, Germany to be precise. You couldn't make it up! pic.twitter.com/QsnDygSuGn
— Mark Tyrrell UKIP (@MarkTyrrellUKIP) January 3, 2015