Rishi Sunak’s big math(s) quiz

LONDON — Rishi Sunak loves numbers.

In a speech Monday, the U.K. prime minister vowed to boost numeracy among Brits, unveiled a new team to help him get there, and promised to take on an “anti-maths mindset” that, he argued, sees being bad with numbers as “socially acceptable.”

Fortunately, the genius POLITICO team feels the same way. So we’ve tasked our dedicated math desk* with devising this rigorous test, the outcome of which is legally-binding and will determine your life chances. Possibly.

(*Okay, one reporter who once used a calculator.)

Rishi attends one lockdown birthday bash for Boris. But he forgets to wear a seatbelt in the car ride home. How many fixed penalty notices does he receive?


Matt gives Isabel access to more than 100,000 of his highly-personal WhatsApps. Assuming the journalistic treachery rate is 1, what percentage of WhatsApps will find their way into the hands of Daily Telegraph reporters?

20 percent: just the really newsy ones0 percent: Matt trusted her, and who could doubt his judgment?100 percent: Freedom of the press rules, okay?

Flat whites are advertised at £2.50 per cup at the Pret near the U.K. Treasury on Monday. Factoring in runaway inflation, what do the two flat whites cost by the time Jeremy buys them on Tuesday?

£1,002£460Pret has closed due to the U.K.’s crushing tax burden.

Keir implies Rishi doesn’t believe in locking up sex offenders. How many people see the advert? Show your working.

17.4 million22.2 millionJust an enraged Barry Gardiner, but 22.2 million times.

Rishi earns £4.8m over three tax years. If he continues to earn the same amount annually, how long does it take him to match the £666,953 in Scottish National Party cash that is now the subject of a police probe?

Three monthsA yearJust under five months

Greg has 3,290 seats on 230 councils. If he loses 1,000 seats, how many grumpy texts will he get from Tory MPs?

354: One from every Tory MP, including Greg himself.198: Some Conservative grandees remain unsure what a ‘text’ is.0: If you turn off your phone, have you really received any texts?

Keir makes ten cast-iron pledges during the Labour leadership contest but the financial situation changes. How many pledges will remain unbroken after three years?

None, as the financial situation has changed.All 10: You gotta stick to your promises, right?Just one or two. Maybe. Kinda.

Greg has 2,500 photocopies of a letter Liam left for his successor at the Treasury. How much money will there be left?

I’m afraid there is no money. I’m afraid there is no money. I’m afraid there is no money.

If Andrew uses the word ‘math’ in a POLITICO article due to the company’s American-English policy, what proportion of its readership will text in to complain?

All of them.Every last one.Sorry.