British Prime Minister David Cameron mocked for eating hot dog with knife and fork

LONDON (AFP) - Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has been skewered in the middle of a tense election campaign - for eating a hot dog with a knife and fork.

The Conservative leader's visit on Monday to a voter barbecue backfired as an attempt to appear as an everyman, relaxing in a blue shirt as the beer flowed.

The image was shattered when Cameron picked up cutlery to tackle the sausage-stuffed bread roll.

Newspapers and social media seized on the photograph of Cameron using the cutlery as evidence that the prime minister is posh and unrelatable - an image his party has battled to shake.

"David Cameron doesn't know how to eat a hot dog" announced the Metro; "I won't try to hide the fact I am posh" was the headline of the Daily Mail.

"What kind of person eats a hot dog with a knife and fork?" asked The Times journalist David Jack.

"I do the same at McDonalds with a Big Mac just before I ask to see the wine list," joked Twitter user Peter Smith.

Cameron's Tory party has long been characterised by the opposition Labour party as governing in the interests of the rich and powerful.

Cameron has said he will not change his upper-class accent to win votes, or apologise for what he called his "privileged upbringing" and "posh school".

Cameron, like Prince William, Prince Harry and a large proportion of Britain's ruling class, went to the prestigious boarding school Eton College.

It is not the first food-related photograph to menace the main candidates in the campaign for the May 7 election, for which Labour and the Conservative party have been deadlocked for months.

Photographs of Labour leader Ed Miliband making an ungainly attempt to eat a bacon sandwich helped forge a reputation of awkwardness the opposition leader has struggled to shed ever since.