Tue, 24 May 2022

Conservative MP Conor Burns, a long-time ally of Boris Johnson, says the PM's birthday party was a surprise one

Speaking to Channel 4 News on Tuesday evening, Conservative MP Conor Burns defended Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the recent allegation that he broke his own Covid-19 restrictions when receiving a birthday cake in 2020.

The revelation that Johnson was presented with a cake by colleagues in June 2020 is the latest in a series of alleged incidents, dubbed 'Partygate', in which the PM supposedly broke the rules.

On Tuesday, Burns reiterated the government's insistence that the cake-giving wasn't an organized party.

READ MORE: Minister reveals what could prevent full Partygate report being published

"It was not a premeditated, organized party," he said. "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 characterize that as a party," he added.

However, Burns' "ambushed with cake" line probably hasn't had the desired effect, with the excuse prompting dozens of celebrity jibes and memes.

Chic chef Nigella Lawson tweeted that "ambushed by cake" could be the perfect title for her next recipe book.

Burns himself responded to Lawson on Twitter, saying "It's yours if you want it," and asking whether he could include his granny's Christmas cake recipe.

Lawson was apparently unimpressed, responding: "This is too meta. Plus, you think it's a joke? Says it all."

Outspoken Labour MP Jess Phillips just wrote: "Tonight I was ambushed by a Chinese takeaway."

Others shared memes of MP Sir Norman Fry, a character from noughties comedy show Little Britain who frequently offered implausible excuses for engaging in public homosexual acts, while his wife and children stood by his side.

"... it was at that moment I was ambushed with a birthday cake and was unable to escape and forced to celebrate against my will..." read one tweet by broadcaster Toby Earle, sharing an image of Fry speaking outside of his fictional home.

Another person shared a video, alleging the cake-throwing chaos resembled Johnson's ambushing.

Despite the jokes and jibes, the events at 10 Downing Street are now being investigated by the Met Police to see if Johnson broke his own Covid rules.


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