Boris, who had already had a cake during a visit to a school that day, celebrated his birthday with staff and family later (Picture: PA/Getty)
Downing Street has been rocked by fresh revelations that Boris Johnson attended a birthday party during the first Covid lockdown in June 2020.
The PM’s team at No 10 have admitted he was present at the event in the Cabinet Room on June 19 but have tried to play down its significance.
Nonetheless, many are furious at yet more revelations of potential Covid rule-breaking inside the heart of government.
They have been sharing stories of their own birthdays – or those of loved ones – held under tough restrictions.
The latest claims will all be scrutinised by civil servant Sue Gray, who is said to have already known about the alleged party.
She is still expected to release her long-awaited report into what happened this week.
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson himself is fighting for his political life and will hope the latest revelations do not prove terminal.
Here Metro.co.uk rounds up what’s said to have happened at the gathering:
Boris Johnson had earlier marked his birthday by visiting a school in Hertfordshire (Picture: PA)
Guests included staff who didn’t work at No 10
Around 30 people are said to have gathered to wish the PM a happy birthday on June 20, 2020.
At the time social mixing was still banned indoors and people were only allowed to meet up in small groups outside.
The crowd mostly consisted of No 10 staff who were required to be there for work purposes.
Sources close to the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, told the Daily Mail he wasn’t invited but attended ‘very briefly’ as he was attending a Covid meeting in the same room afterwards.
Jack Doyle, currently director of communications, and the head of operations, Shelley Williams-Walker, are said to have been there.
Mr Johnson left Downing Street this morning with the fresh revelations threatening to destroy his premiership (Picture: Reuters)
But so too was interior designer Lulu Lytle who at the time was completing an expensive makeover of the PM’s flat above 11 Downing Street.
Ms Lytle has said she wasn’t invited but was present ‘briefly’ while waiting to talk to the PM about an aspect of the renovations.
However the original ITV story about the party claimed she was one of those who gave the PM a cake.
The presence of outsiders casts doubt on No 10’s justification for the event – they’ve said: ‘A group of staff working in No 10 that day gathered briefly in the Cabinet Room after a meeting to wish the Prime Minister a happy birthday. He was there for less than 10 minutes.’
There was M&S picnic food and a surprise cake
ITV said the guests at the surprise birthday party enjoyed M&S picnic food before a cake was presented to the Prime Minister.
Cabinet minister Grant Shapps appeared to try to deflect blame from the PM for this while appearing on TV.
He told Sky News: ‘The Prime Minister clearly didn’t organise to be given a cake. Some people came forward and thought it would be appropriate for on his birthday.’
He added: ‘These are staff he would have been working with and was working with all day long, and will have been many a time in the same room with them working on the response to coronavirus.
‘They come in, give him a cake, I understand I think it lasted for 10 minutes and that was it.’
Carrie is said to have organised a birthday cake for her husband (Picture: No10 Downing Street)
Carrie led a chorus of Happy Birthday
Mr Johnson’s wife, Carrie, is said to have led guests in a chorus of Happy Birthday for the Prime Minister.
Although a mainstay of any birthday party, the song is significant in this case as guidance advised against indoor singing at the time.
Many community choirs were prevented from meeting up to practice because singing was thought to spread the virus faster due to the amount of droplets in the air.
The couple live in the flat above Downing Street which has recently been refurbished (Picture: 10 Downing Street)
Family and friends gathered for a second ‘party’ later
Downing Street has disputed claims that a second ‘party’ was held later that evening inside No 10.
ITV said the PM hosted friends and family in his private residence – which would have broken Covid rules on indoor gatherings.
Downing Street say this is untrue and the gathering of a small number of family members took place outside.
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