george osborne
Chancellor George Osborne avoided schoolboy Sam's simple maths question - what's seven times eight? Sky News

What's seven times eight?

It's simple maths question that most primary school children can answer (56, if you're struggling). But it's one dodged by the man who manages the UK economy, Chancellor George Osborne.

Osborne was quizzed on his times-tables knowledge by a boy called Sam sitting on a panel of schoolchildren on Sky News, who were putting questions to the chancellor.

When asked if he is any good at maths, Osborne said he studied it at A-level and has been tested at school. The questioner then fired out "what's seven times eight?"

The evasive chancellor replied that he has "made it a rule in life not to answer" maths questions. So he didn't answer Sam's.

Was it a quick-witted dodge of a sum he couldn't answer immediately? Or was it truly a dogmatic life principle to never answer maths questions?

The latter may explain the lateness of the UK economic recovery. Either way, something doesn't add up. And it's apparenly the chancellor.

One question he did answer (sort of) was on what was his biggest regret since taking charge of the Treasury in 2010.

"When you get into office that's your opportunity to take some really big decisions," Osborne said.

"And we did take some big decisions because then you've got a few years to see them played out. But actually I look back and think there's even more we could have done to fix some of the economic problems and I want to go on therefore taking decisions that will help create jobs to create jobs ... and make the country more prosperous.

"If anything, it's like I wish we'd done even more."