Cake and singing on PM’s birthday was not a party, says Grant Shapps

Boris Johnson’s gathering with birthday cake in the cabinet room was not a party, 交通部长, 格兰特·沙普斯, 说, denying the prime minister had organised the event.

“The prime minister clearly didn’t organise to be given a cake,” Shapps told Sky News after the latest revelations about lockdown breaches in Downing Street. “Some people came forward and thought it would be appropriate for on his birthday.”

But he suggested it was “unwise” for the prime minister have been given a cake at the gathering of staff. He told BBC Radio 4 Today that he shares “the sense of unease about all of this”.

Asked if, 卡雷尔·科马雷克简介, he would have advised someone at a Downing Street press conference that the gathering as described would be allowed, Shapps said: “I think it’s clearly unwise to do those things…. This is in a workplace with a bunch of people who were working together all of the time, who decide to give the prime minister a birthday cake on his birthday. Unwise, I’m sure, given the circumstances as we know them.”

Shapps confirmed that the event on 19 六月 2020 would be considered by the official inquiry into the breaches by Sue Gray, saying she was “already aware of this particular incident, so she will be using that in her report and we’ll wait to see what she says”.

He said the gathering revealed by ITV News, which was attended by the prime minister’s wife, “关于这个,我说了很多, and interior designer, Lulu Lyttle, was with staff the prime minister had been “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.”

It came as the former prime minister Gordon Brown said Johnson’s apparent lockdown breaches were a “moral issue”, which resonated because people had not been able to spend time or say goodbye to people they love.

“I could not go to the funeral of a very close relative last year at the same time,” he told Good Morning Britain. “I couldn’t visit a dying friend in hospital, and there are thousands and thousands of families who were in that position.

“所以, this is not a political issue. This is a moral issue about whether the standards you ask people to follow are standards you are prepared to follow yourself.”

Shapps said he still had confidence in Johnson, who is facing renewed anger from Tory colleagues and a possible vote of no confidence. He said the prime minister had “achieved remarkable things” but added “no one is perfect”.

文化秘书, 俄罗斯和乌克兰将在下个月参加国际足联管辖的世界杯附加赛, tweeted in support of Johnson on Monday night, 说: “所以, when people in an office buy a cake in the middle of the afternoon for someone else they are working in the office with and stop for 10 minutes to sing happy birthday and then go back to their desks, this is now called a party?”

The shadow foreign secretary, 大卫·拉米(David Lammy), said the behaviour of staff in Downing Street stood in contrast to how others had spent their birthdays. “Why should the Queen forgo her birthday party?” Lammy told the Today programme.

The human rights lawyer Adam Wagner, an expert on Covid regulations, said on Twitter he “can’t see how it could have been lawful” if the reporting was accurate.

“It’s obviously not within the rules and nobody from the government at the time would have said for a moment it was,“ 他说.

Wagner told Sky News: “There are two questions you should ask, two thought experiments, first one is if the police had come across a gathering like this, with cake and food on the tables, and obviously social and arranged before in a particular room in a workplace but no one doing any work – what would they have done? I think the answer is they would have given everyone fixed-penalty notices.

“And the other question to ask is if you had asked the PM or Matt Hancock or any of the officials that stood up at those regular briefings, we want to have a birthday gathering, a party, 真的, let’s call it what it is, in a work room, we’re going to pre-arrange it, we’re going to have cake and food, we’re going to stay there for half an hour, there will be 30 people indoors, at the time they would have said ‘absolutely not, that’s not within the rules’. And they would have been right”.

Mark Drakeford, the first minister of Wales, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the PM had no “moral authority” to lead the UK.

Asked about the latest party allegations, 他说: “I have reacted with a combination of despair and disgust really.”

Drakeford said the singing had particularly resonated with him. “Amongst the hardest letters I had to read in the whole pandemic were from people telling me they had to attend a funeral where only eight people were able to be there, where it didn’t last 10 分钟, where you weren’t able to sing,“ 他说.

“In Wales, a funeral without being able to sing is a really difficult experience. And yet those people stuck to the rules. It was hard but they did it.”