Carrie Johnson sent messages to Downing Street staff offering to bring a cake to a birthday party for the Prime Minister that she instigated during the first lockdown, the Sue Gray inquiry has been told.
The Telegraph can disclose that officials involved in the “partygate” investigation are looking into an exchange between Mrs Johnson and at least one other senior member of staff ahead of the gathering in June 2020.
It is understood that in the exchange, Mrs Johnson asked the official to get staff together to celebrate Mr Johnson’s 56th birthday, while also confirming that she would personally organize a cake for him.
A spokesman for Mrs Johnson refused to comment when approached on Friday, but did not deny the exchange took place.
It is claimed that Mrs Johnson did not end up buying or bringing a cake to the gathering. Allies of Mrs Johnson have also claimed that a Number 10 official was responsible for organizing the event.
However, this has been rejected by multiple insiders who attended the gathering, who say that Mrs Johnson organized it.
The disclosure appears to undermine Downing Street’s previous denial that Mrs Johnson organized the gathering, which was reportedly attended by up to 30 people.
It also raises the prospect that the Prime Minister’s wife could now be asked to give evidence either to Ms Gray’s team or the Metropolitan Police, which is now investigating eight of 17 gatherings which took place from May 2020 to April 2021.
The Cabinet Office declined to say whether investigators had approached Mrs Johnson about the messages. It is understood she has not been interviewed so far.
A Scotland Yard spokesman also refused to rule out officers interviewing Mrs Johnson over the claims.
The Metropolitan Police is refusing to give a “running commentary” on who is being investigated or who will be questioned.
The spokesman said: “We would not talk about people subject to an investigation. We can not discuss that. We can not discuss people who may or may not be subject to an investigation.”
Cake or no cake at No 10 birthday party?
It comes just days after it was first revealed that a gathering was held in the Cabinet Room on June 19 2020 to mark Mr Johnson’s birthday.
Lulu Lytle, the Johnsons’ interior designer, also attended, although she claimed she was only present “briefly” while waiting to talk to Mr Johnson about the refurbishments she was carrying out at the couple’s flat above Number 11.
According to ITV News, Mr Johnson was presented with a cake while his wife led staff in singing happy birthday to him.
Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, also inadvertently walked in as the gathering was ending, having been due to attend a strategy meeting that had been scheduled in the room that afternoon.
Social gatherings indoors were forbidden under lockdown laws at the time. A relaxation of the regulations permitted gatherings of up to six people to take place outside.
It came as Downing Street refused to repeat Mr Johnson’s denial that he had been presented with a cake at the gathering.
While Mr Johnson is understood to have told ministers and allies there was no cake, reports from the day after the event resurfaced on Friday. They appeared to confirm that Mr Johnson was presented with a Union flag cake.