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MPs mock minister's defence of Boris Johnson being 'ambushed by cake' amid partygate scandal

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts as he looks at a display of cakes and desserts as he talks with business owners inside Lemon Street Market on April 7, 2021 in Truro, England.
  • Minister Conor Burns has said that Boris Johnson did not host a party, but was "ambushed by cake".
  • MPs are mocking the notion of a shock cake encounter, joking about which type is most dangerous. 
  • Chris Bryant said this is part of the "complete erosion of the Prime Minister's moral authority."
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Conservative MPs are mocking their colleague Conor Burns, after he defended Boris Johnson from the latest partygate allegation, saying the prime minister had been "ambushed by cake".

A birthday party was held for Johnson during the UK's first lockdown in June 2020, where he was greeted by around 30 guests who sang Happy Birthday and presented him with a cake, ITV first reported. 

Burns, a long-time ally of the prime minister, told Channel 4 News that rather than having had a "premeditated party", the prime minister was "ambushed by cake".

That has provoked much amusement across Westminster with Conservative MPs including Simon Hoare and Caroline Nokes joking about the threat posed by baked goods.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Commons' leader and another member of Johnson's Cabinet, defended Burns' description, although told the BBC he "preferred to use the word abuscade".

However, it has also prompted more serious criticism of the handling of partygate. 

Chris Bryant, a Labour MP and chair of the Commons' standards committee, told BBC Radio 4: "We've seen the complete erosion of the Prime Minister's moral authority.

"It's so disrespectful to the bus drivers, the nurses in ICU, to say that those in Number 10 were working terribly hard. I'm sorry, everybody was working terribly hard, we all had to make sacrifices, and some people clearly think they've above the law."

Johnson faces another tough day in Westminster, under pressure as the much-anticipated Cabinet Office inquiry into multiple allegations of illegal parties is expected to be published this week.


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