The Prime Minister’s interior designer was not invited to his alleged lockdown-breaking birthday party and “only came”, said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Reports emerged on Monday that the Prime Minister was treated to a birthday party at Number 10 in June 2020 as the majority of the country remained under Covid restrictions.
Around 30 people are believed to have gathered in the Cabinet Room on June 19, 2020 to celebrate Mr Johnson’s 56th birthday, ITV reported last night.
At the time, indoor social mixing was still prohibited.
READ MORE: The full list of Number 10’s ‘lockdown-breaking parties’… as it grows even longer
Interior designer Lulu Lytle, who oversaw the controversial refurbishment of the Downing Street apartment, was also present.
Ms Lytle admitted to attending but insisted she was only there ‘briefly’ while waiting to speak to Mr Johnson about the renovations she was carrying out.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Monday morning, Grant Shapps said: “I saw a statement that she [Ms Lytle] says that by saying she wasn’t invited to such a thing, she got to the end.”
The Transport Secretary previously told Sky News: ‘She was in the building, of course.
He added: “The Prime Minister obviously didn’t arrange to receive a cake. Some people came forward and thought it would be appropriate for his birthday.
“I understand that Sue Gray was already aware of this particular incident, so she will use it in her report and we will wait to see what she says.”
Mr Shapps said he was not seeking to defend the rally and said he was ‘furious’ with anyone breaking the rules.
He told Sky News: “It was his (Boris Johnson’s) birthday and these are people he worked with all the time.
“Like I said, I’m not trying to defend it. It’s up to Sue Gray to decide if it was appropriate, she’ll make the recommendations.
“I think we can be pretty clear that the prime minister didn’t show up with the cake. He’s someone who comes up with that cake and I explained to you that I’m furious with everyone who has breaks the rules.”
Mr Shapps said he still had faith in Boris Johnson but said ‘no one is perfect’.
The Transport Secretary told BBC Breakfast the Prime Minister did Brexit and made reference to the economy and the rollout of the vaccine.
And he said those successes were “thanks to the leadership of the Prime Minister”.
But he added: “No one is perfect.”
He said it was fair to wait for Sue Gray’s report rather than a “sort of drip media trial”.
He said: “But I think the prime minister has done some remarkable things in a pandemic, when there’s no playbook for dealing with the pandemic, and led this country through it.”