Boris Johnson tells minister there was no cake at lockdown birthday party

Boris Johnson tells minister there was no cake at lockdown birthday party
‘I’m told under some authority indeed from him that there actually wasn’t a cake,’ close ally to PM says

Boris Johnson has insisted he could not have been “ambushed with cake” at a birthday party in Downing Street, reportedly telling allies there was no cake present at the time.

Earlier this week, it was reported Mr Johnson’s wife Carrie organised a surprise gathering for his birthday on 19 June with more than 30 people there.

Tory MP Colin Burns went on to defended Mr Johnson, telling Channel 4 News in comments he was later ridiculed for on social media: “As far as I can see, he was in a sense, ambushed with a cake. It was not a premeditated, organised party.”

But in the latest development in the Partygate saga, the close ally to the prime minister has now suggested there was not a cake after all.

Mr Burns told The Telegraph’s Chopper’s Politics podcast: “I’m told under some authority indeed from him that there actually wasn’t a cake.”

The minister for Northern Ireland added: “I must be the first government minister in history who stands accused of cake-ism without an actual cake.”

Mr Burns also told the podcast’s host Christopher Hope that the suggestion of an “ambush” was not part of a strategy to defend Mr Johnson, who is under growing pressure ahead of the publication of Sue Gray’s report into Downing Street parties.

“That was definitely a lone operation, for which I have paid a price,” Mr Burns said. “A colleague said to me this morning: You do realise, Conor, that’s going to be in your obituary. That will stay with me for some time.”

ITV News reported on Monday that Mrs Johnson is said to have led staff in a chorus of happy birthday, before well-wishers enjoyed picnic food from M&S at the event held just after 2pm.

Mr Burns’ comments come as No 10 this afternoon announced Mr Johnson still had not been sent the hotly-anticipated report on No 10 parties.

“It remains our intention to publish swiftly as possible once we receive the findings, and as you know the PM has committed to providing a statement in the House to respond to those findings,” the prime minister’s spokesperson said.

“It’s always been the case we will aim to publish as swiftly as possible, we would obviously need to speak to the Speaker.

“We’re delving into hypotheticals… our intention would be to publish as quickly as possible.”

The Independent has contacted No 10 as to whether cake was or was not present at Mr Johnson’s birthday party.

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