BORIS wished, not for the first time, that he'd never agreed to it.

'Ha!' he said aloud, without mirth. 'This could apply to so many scenarios, old chap,' he thought to himself. The clock said it was 4am.

Nanny should be off somewhere in the dark at this time, jostling the baby back to sleep or whatever nannies do with babies, but of course, there was no nanny because of the damned financial strictures.

A man in his position, having to run a household, pay for wives, ex-wives, fiancées, grown children, small children, keep up appearances, all on a pittance.

I mean, £350,000 a year was barely anything, once you took outgoings into account. Lord knows what ruddy Rees-Mogg has coming in, with his Saville Row suits and the six offspring's school fees, not to mention paying for the children's nanny plus the old boy's own.

A man of 51-year-old and still making sure his childhood nanny was still taken care of. Admirable, really.

They're obsessed with asking how many children, I have, he thought. Not so many that I can't pay for them myself. If you can't afford children, you shouldn't have them. And I've done everything possible to make sure I can afford them, he said out loud to himself.

It's only now, now that I've gone into public service for the sake of Queen and country - never a thought for myself - that I'm struggling. No thanks. Never any thanks.

Whoever it was had leaked the story of Boris's current financial hardship was quite right, despite having done him no favours. Prime Ministers in this country really are very badly served. Just the £150,000 a year and that's before tax. Before! And no proper household staff thrown in. Just a cleaner. As if the Prime Minister might wash his own smalls. The outrage of it.

Having to pay for food sent up as well. Would they rather we starved?

Chequers isn't just there for laughs, either. The public had to understand how important it was to aid the impression given to those overseas of Britain as a powerhouse that the prime minister might have somewhere impressive to entertain. He shouldn't also have to pay for it. He wasn't larking around for his own benefit, any parties were really for the benefit of the nation.

They'll be charging me for the bleddy cat next, he thought, and this, at last, produced a snort. Finally something to laugh at. Chief Mouser. Another mouth to feed, more like it. He was quite sure Larry would come out on top in any opinion poll, but he could hardly blame the public for that preference.

Affection for animals was a great British strength. Same they didn't have a matching level of natural enthusiasm for prime ministers.

So here he was. The leak detailing his financial worries had made The Times and from there out to the national press. He had hoped people would feel a level of shock at the idea of a prime minister earning a tiny sum but that, sadly, hadn't seemed to be the case.

Rather than national calls for a pay rise, the populace - and he could never quite get a handle on them - seemed to want to mock him instead. It was perhaps the line about the rose garden that had taken it too far.

I mean, the source was correct: Downing Street is a dim old, grim old place. But he supposed not everyone could grasp how irritating it was to have to go through the study into the garden. It was just that it was always about work, you know.

So few people could truly understand what it's like to have your work take up all your time, to have no escape, to just live and graft in the one space. They could all go back to their offices, the devils, and yet they didn't seem to want to.

Anyway, the boss had come up with a great plan. Challenge the prime minister to live on Universal Credit for a month and see how he coped. Boris wouldn't have thought of it but luckily he wasn't in charge.

How hard can it be, really, he thought. The government wouldn't set out a level of benefits that wasn't liveable.

He remembered Mhairi Black, that SNP MP from, where was it? Glasgow? No, somewhere around there though. She had raised in the Commons an issue with a pregnant young woman having the sum total of £111 in benefits per month. Per month? Was that right? No, can't possibly be. Must be per day.

He decided to bring his tablet out and have a Google. He remembered something about a young asylum seeker in Glasgow. That young man, the father of the little boy whose mother died in a flat in Glasgow. This news story said he survived on £35 a week but that can't possibly be right. Bleddy journalists, they'll make anything up.

There was absolutely no chance that was correct. That was, what, one glass of Bolly?

He went to his government's website and looked it up. Hang on, what? £594.04 for a couple? Per... month. He'd agreed to live on short of £600 for a month? Boris lay back down. He could not imagine such a life.

Suddenly he felt as though he must have misery etched on his face.