Boris Johnson’s officials have said they are unable to clarify whether there was cake at a birthday celebration held in his honour in June 2020.
After details emerged of the surprise gathering in the Cabinet room, Tory MP Conor Burns claimed the prime minister had been ‘ambushed with a cake’.
It was reported that around 30 people attended the gathering, which took place at a time when indoor socialising was banned in England.
Mr Burns said it was ‘not a premeditated, organised party’ that the PM ‘himself decided to have’ and that staff had come to his office with a cake, sung ‘Happy Birthday’, and that he left 10 minutes later.
He told Channel 4 News on Tuesday: ‘I don’t think most people looking at that at home would characterise that as a party.’
The PM’s team admitted he was present at the event but continued to play down its significance throughout the week.
But Mr Burns later told The Telegraph’s political podcast: ‘I’m told under some authority, indeed from him, that there actually wasn’t a cake.’
An article published in The Times the day after the event has since resurfaced, reporting that the group ‘tucked into a Union Jack cake’.
Officials now claim that the investigation by senior civil servant Sue Gray prevents them from discussing details of the event, despite the apparent ability to do so of Mr Burns, who is the minister for Northern Ireland.
A spokesman for Boris Johnson told The Telegraph: ‘So you will know what we said earlier this week on the matter, that small number of staff briefly came into the Cabinet room on the PM’s birthday.
“Beyond that I can’t comment further ahead of any conclusion of the investigation.
‘As you’re aware there’s an independent investigation ongoing by Sue Gray in the Cabinet Office. I can only point you back to what we said earlier this week.’
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