Nigella Lawson mocks Tory MP over Partygate: 'You think this is a joke?'

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·Freelance Writer
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Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson leaves parliament after telling MPs he welcomed a police investigation into Partygate. (Getty)

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson has criticised a Tory MP who attempted to defend Boris Johnson over his involvement in the Partygate scandal.

The prime minister is bracing for the publication of the Sue Gray report into allegations of lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street.

On Tuesday, the Met Police confirmed they had launched an investigation into the parties and Northern Ireland minister Conor Burns attempted to defend Johnson.

Referring to reports that the PM attended a party for his birthday during lockdown, Burns told Channel 4 News: “It was not a premeditated, organised party in that sense, that the prime minister himself decided to have sent out…

“As far as I can see, he was in a sense, ambushed with a cake.”

Lawson mocked the interview on Twitter, writing: “Ambushed by Cake: it just has to be the title of my next book!”

Burns responded lightheartedly to the tweet, writing: “It’s yours if you want it! Could I include my Granny’s Christmas cake recipe?”

However, the tweet seemed to anger Lawson, who tweeted back: “This is too meta. Plus, you think it’s a joke? Says it all.”

Watch: Partygate: Tory MP claims PM 'ambushed with a cake'

Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said on Tuesday that officers are investigating a “number of events” in Downing Street and Whitehall, after being passed information from the Gray inquiry.

Johnson later told the Commons that he welcomed the Met investigation, “because I believe this will help to give the public the clarity it needs and help to draw a line under matters”.

The publication of Gray’s report was initially thought to have been delayed by several weeks following Dick’s announcement but it is now understood that it could be published in the next few days.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick walks towards New Scotland Yard in central London on January 25, 2022. - London's police chief on Tuesday said her officers are investigating several parties that took place at Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office and government departments during Covid lockdowns. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick said her officers are investigating several parties that took place at Downing Street. (Getty)

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen, who has called for the PM to resign over the scandal, told Channel 4 News that Partygate was “paralysing the government” and hoped for a quick publication of Gray’s report.

The PM’s official spokesman said that it was “fair to say” that Johnson does not believe he has broken the law by attending the parties.

The findings of the report may add further pressure to the PM, with some Tory MPs said to be waiting to read it before deciding to call for Johnson to resign.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson said he is willing to talk to police over the Downing Street parties allegations. (Getty)

According to Sky News, Gray has received photographs of Downing Street parties which include Johnson and others standing close to bottles of wine – at a time where people in England were told they should not socialise with others indoors to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

At least 19 lockdown-busting events at Downing Street and Whitehall have been alleged so far – the latest being that Johnson celebrated his birthday during the first lockdown in June 2020.

Downing Street admitted that staff “gathered briefly” in the Cabinet Room following a meeting, which ITV News reported the PM’s wife, Carrie Johnson, had organised.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak was also believed to have briefly attended while entering the room to attend a COVID strategy meeting.

Watch: Scotland Yard launches investigation into 'parties' in Downing Street

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