Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband gave money to a beggar in Manchester. Getty

Ed Miliband has been accused of looking awkward as he gave money to a beggar on the streets of Manchester.

The Labour leader was photographed putting some change into a homeless woman's cardboard cup while on a trip to drum up support for devolution.

But the gesture backfired when observers claimed Miliband looked awkward handing the woman money.

He was also criticised for appearing to hand the beggar just a handful of pennies and exploiting the woman.

However, Miliband did garner some support on social media:

In June, Miliband vowed to concentrate on policies rather than photo opportunities, after he was snapped looking pained while eating a bacon sandwich.

Commenting on the incident, he said: "I believe that people would quite like somebody to stand up and say there is more to politics than the photo op. And that culture diminishes our politics."