We understand concern over UK PM Johnson's lockdown birthday party, minister says

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LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - The British government understands the concern that voters have about reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had a birthday party during the first COVID-19 lockdown in June 2020 when social gatherings indoors were banned, a senior minister said.

Up to 30 people attended the event in the Cabinet Room of No. 10, his office and residence, ITV said. The prime minister was believed to have been presented with a cake whilst his wife led staff in a chorus of happy birthday, ITV said.

"I understand the sense of concern about the sort of reports we see on the front of the newspapers," Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky. "Mistakes were made."

"It obviously was prime minister's birthday: he'd been given a cake earlier in the day, that's the picture in the newspapers, and he was clearly given a cake by his staff when he got back to the office. These are staff he would have been working with and was working with all day long." (Reporting by Alistair Smout; writing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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