Conor Burns’s attempt to defend the PM over No 10 parties inspires mirth on social media
A Conservative MP’s claim that Boris Johnson was “ambushed with a cake” at his birthday gathering held in Downing Street during lockdown has gone down a treat on social media after yet another day of high political drama.
Northern Ireland minister Conor Burns, a long-standing ally of the prime minister, told Channel 4 News on Tuesday evening that the gathering was not a “premeditated” party and that Johnson was working in the room before staff came in and presented him with a birthday cake.
“It was not a premeditated, organised party,” he said. “He was, in a sense, ambushed with a cake.”
The MP for Bournemouth West added: “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 characterise that as a party.”
Social media erupted with mockery at Burns’ remarks. Nigella Lawson tweeted that the term “ambushed by cake” would make the perfect title for a recipe book.
In response, the minister said Lawson was more than welcome to use the name if she included his “Granny’s Christmas cake recipe”.
It’s yours if you want it! Could I include my Granny’s Christmas cake recipe? https://t.co/9XGgEr6P1v
— Conor Burns (@ConorBurnsUK) January 25, 2022
Lawson was unimpressed, responding: “This is too meta. Plus, you think it’s a joke? Says it all.”
Elsewhere on Twitter, people poked fun at Burns’ comments.
‘… it was at that moment I was ambushed with a birthday cake and was unable to escape and forced to celebrate against my will…’ pic.twitter.com/FSm3dfLSdj
— Toby Earle (@TobyonTV) January 25, 2022
One user shared a 2011 video of former deputy prime minister John Prescott sticking his fingers in a BBC cake being offered to celebrate the first anniversary of the coalition government.
— Henry Tribe (@HenryTribe) January 25, 2022
Am hearing the getting ambushed by a cake defence is Flan B.
— THE SECRET TORY (@secrettory12) January 25, 2022
Another edited footage from the Jurassic Park film to show the game warden being ambushed by a birthday cake.
If I'd not seen it in films so much the "ambushed by a cake" thing would be ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/VQXZkxISqw
— Matthew Highton (@MattHighton) January 25, 2022
The historian Greg Jenner was poised with a series of cake puns featuring military figures ambushed by cake.
As any historian can tell you, the Battle of Cannae was a decisive victory in which the Romans were destroyed in a pincer movement between crème brûlée and a Victoria sponge https://t.co/XcGRQxjSDw
— Greg Jenner (@greg_jenner) January 25, 2022
One person envisioned scenes from the Cabinet Office, which has played a pivotal role in the Metropolitan police’s decision to formally investigate alleged parties at Downing Street and Whitehall.
Live from the cabinet office pic.twitter.com/SDhrBTPihJ
— HappyToast ★ (@IamHappyToast) January 25, 2022
And the campaigner and food writer Jack Monroe shared a photo of a Peppa Pig cake, perhaps in reference to the PM’s infamous praise of Peppa Pig World.