Now, in an interview with US broadcaster CNN, Dorries made clear there would be little Johnson could do to shake her off.
When asked if there was any situation which would cause her to withdraw her support of him, Dorries replied: “Well, of course there are. If he went up and, you know, kicked a dog, I’d probably withdraw my support for him, but no, based on his professional delivery for the UK, no, absolutely not.”
Of the leaked photos of him taking part in a quiz with champagne and tinsel during lockdown, she added: “What I would say on the food, it was an open packet of crisps, it was Christmas, it was a Zoom quiz with the wider staff. So, I mean, basically that’s all I’ve got to say on it. I’m not sure who didn’t do a Zoom quiz during lockdown with an open pocket of crisps.”
It’s the latest bizarre contortion from a Tory MP in an effort to defend their leader.
Junior minister Conor Burns claimed Johnson was effectively “ambushed by cake”, and therefore his alleged rule-breaking birthday party was not his fault.
And backbencher Adam Rosindell compared partygate to robbing a bank in an odd exchange on Sky News.
Rosindell described so-called “cakegate” as a “frenzy”, and said: “He’s made a mistake, no question about that, we all do.”
He continued: “I think we’ve all done it, let’s not be so judgemental that the prime minister of the United Kingdom has not committed some horrendous, terrible crime the deserves the entire government to be derailed.”
Sky News’ Kay Burley replied: “And you’re confident that it’s OK for the prime minister who makes the rules to break the rules and thus break the law – that’s OK?”
“No it’s not – you know I’m sure there are ministers who get parking tickets and speeding fines too,” Rosindell said.
“Anyway, lots of people break the law in small ways, sometimes unintentionally.
“He’s not robbed a bank.”
The Metropolitan Police is currently investigating 12 alleged parties, and may launch a formal probe into another after the new image emerged of Johnson taking part in a Christmas quiz on December 15, 2020.
On Wednesday, the Met also revealed that it would begin contacting more than 50 people who are thought to have attended the alleged gatherings.