'There wasn't a cake': Tory MP reveals Boris wasn't 'ambushed' for birthday bash

27 January 2022, 23:00 | Updated: 28 January 2022, 01:41

The Prime Minister did not have a cake at his birthday bash.
The Prime Minister did not have a cake at his birthday bash. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

A Tory MP has confirmed that Boris Johnson was not "ambushed with a cake" during a birthday bash at No10, as there was no cake involved.

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Northern Ireland minister Conor Burns, who initially made the comment on Tuesday, corrected himself after having spoken to Mr Johnson.

It follows the latest in a series of partygate claims that the PM's wife, Carrie, organised a surprise birthday get-together on June 19 2020, which 30 people attended.

Mr Burns claimed the cakeless birthday party was instead "a meeting".

He told the Telegraph's Chopper's Politics podcast: "I'm told under some authority indeed from him that there actually wasn't a cake."

"I must be the first government minister in history who stands accused of cake-ism without an actual cake," he added.

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The MP previously told Channel 4 that the Prime Minister had been "ambushed with a cake" in his office, following the allegations.

He said: "It was not a premeditated, organised party in that sense, that the Prime Minister himself decided to have.

"As far as I can see, he was, in a sense, ambushed with a cake.

"They came to his office with a cake, they sang Happy Birthday, he was there for 10 minutes.

"I don't think most people looking at that at home would characterise that as a party."

When later asked on the podcast if the "cake ambush" was part of a strategy to defend Mr Johnson, Mr Burns explained: "That was definitely a lone operation, for which I have paid a price.

"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.'

"But listen, when you make a bit of an a— of yourself, the key is to own it and not to be pompous about it."

Speaking on Thursday, the Prime Minister said he "regrets" not strictly enforcing lockdown rules in Downing Street during the pandemic but stands by the notion that "he is still the right man to lead" the country. 

He is said to have held one-to-one meetings with 15 MPs on Wednesday, in a bid to persuade them he should stay.

It comes as MPs and the public await senior civil servant Sue Gray's report into the series of lockdown-breaking party allegations, with recent reports suggesting it will not be released until next week.