Boris Johnson was 'ambushed with a cake', claims loyal Tory MP
Independent TV

The Tory MP who claimed Boris Johnson was "ambushed with a cake" on his birthday has conceded he may have made "a little bit of an arse" of himself.

Speaking to Christopher Hope on Chopper's Politics podcast, Northern Ireland minister Conor Burns said he was joking when he made the now-infamous defence of Johnson's supposed lockdown breaching birthday bash but since realised it hadn't exactly gone down well.

He said: "I learned a salutary lesson yesterday that you should never make a joke when you are doing a serious broadcast interview.

He added that has been told the comments will end up in his obituary and that he isn't living it down easily.

"When you do make a little bit of an arse of yourself, even inadvertently, the key thing is to own it and not be pompous about it," he said.

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Burns attracted widespread mirth this week when, in an interview with Channel 4 News, he tried to defend Johnson after reports emerged that the prime minister had a birthday gathering in his Downing Street office in June 2020 when the country was enduring a strict lockdown.

ITV News understands that Carrie Johnson helped organise the surprise bash for the PM and that they gave him a Union flag cake, sang happy birthday, and chowed down on picnic food from M&S. How fun.

Since then, various Tories have been wheeled out to play it down but it was Burns who did the most to turn the event into a meme when he said: “My understanding of that, from what I know of it, and I know as much as you do or your viewers as home know, the prime minister was out on a visit. He came back, he was working in the cabinet room.

“People came in and presented him with the cake on his birthday, they sang ‘happy birthday’, he was there for about 10 minutes.

When pressed further on the event he added: “Well he, 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.”

"Ambushed with a cake"....

Elsewhere in the podcast, Burns also alleged Johnson told him that there wasn't even a cake at the event, which means his so-called "ambush" would not have happened.

Never mind, as Johnson got his fair share of cake when he was presented one by none other than Allegra Stratton a few years ago when he was the foreign secretary...

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