"I'm told under some authority, indeed from him, that there actually wasn't a cake."

Conor Burns, The Telegraph

January 26, 2022

Facts

This remark came after ITV News disclosed that Mr Johnson attended a birthday party thrown in his honour in Downing Street during the first Covid lockdown, despite social gatherings indoors being banned. The event reportedly took place around 2pm on June 19 2020.

Conor Burns, a close ally of Johnson, told journalist Christopher Hope that “there wasn't a cake” at Boris Johnson’s birthday party, alleged to have taken place in Downing Street during lockdown. 

The day after the party in June 2020, Deputy Political editor of the Times, Steven Swinford reported that: “Boris Johnson celebrated his 56th birthday yesterday with a small gathering in the cabinet room. Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, and a group of aides sang him Happy Birthday before they tucked into a Union Jack cake.”

We approached Conor Burns to give him a chance to comment, but received no response. 

Verdict

Note that Loyalist Tory MP Conor Burns did not tell Telegraph journalist Christopher Hope that he had been at the party himself. He was passing onto Mr Hope a personal assurance from Boris Johnson that there wasn’t a cake. It soon emerged that Times political correspondent Steven Swinford had reported eighteen months earlier that a party had taken place and there had been a ‘Union Jack cake.” Readers can decide whether to trust the word of Mr Swinford or the word of the Prime Minister. 

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