David Cameron refuses to answer basic maths question during speech on education

He said that he only did times tables under a very particular set of circumstances

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David Cameron declined to answer a basic maths question during a speech on education and the importance of times tables.

Speaking at a school in north London, the prime minister was asked by a journalist what 8x9 was (= 72), but pleaded "the Nicky Morgan defence" which was used by the education secretary in an interview with ITV.

He said that he only did times tables under a very particular set of circumstances, "only in the car with my children on the way to school".

Nicky Morgan said she "wouldn’t be answering any maths questions" and declined to tell ITV presenters what 7x8 was, despite the fact that head teachers now face the sack under new Conservative plans to shake up the performance at 3,500 schools and improve levels of maths and English.

It was announced that the Conservative party would convert up to 3,500 more failing schools into academies.

Under new Conservative plans, even schools which Ofsted judge to "require improvement" would have to change.

David Cameron also announced the Conservatives would protect spending per pupil at English state schools if they won the general election.

He said that, with numbers of pupils rising, the commitment would mean more money going into schools overall.