Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott has been seen recently in and around her constituency looking relaxed, extremely happy  and often laughing uncontrollably.

The change in her general demeanour comes shortly after Channel 4 revealed glamorous brain box and maths genius, Rachel Riley, is to take a little time away from her busy Countdown schedule to bond with her new baby.

Announcing Riley’s replacement a C4 programme executive said: ‘Of course we cannot replace Rachel adequately but I am delighted to say during maternity leave her duties will be taken up by Home Secretary Priti Patel.’

‘Priti has all the maths skills necessary to handle the job and we’re sure the numbers games will be safe in her hands until Rachel’s return to the show.’

However within five minutes of the announcement being made the hashtag #YouCannotBeSeriousC4 was trending all over social media platforms.

One Twitter user @MathsGuy tweeted: Perhaps there will be a new round introduced? “how to write three hundred thousand, thirty four, nine hundred and seventy four thousand in figures”. I shall look forward to that with considerable. interest.

Meanwhile Diane Abbott was not available for comment however we can report that the outgoing message on her voicemail is the chorus of the laughing policeman.