Thousands of Tories want Boris Johnson back in the game
Over 4,000 Tory supporters have reportedly signed a petition demanding that outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson be given a chance for re-election.
The appeal to the Conservative Party chairman was submitted by two senior party members, former MEP David Campbell-Bannerman and billionaire Lord Peter Cruddas. The petition says that because Johnson was elected in 2019 by “loyal and hard working” members, the grassroot voters should not be denied their say now. Party members “are very upset,” and “there is anger towards the Parliamentary Party,” the text continues.
“I demand Boris Johnson is added to the ballot as an option for the members to vote upon in the forthcoming election,” reads the appeal, which, according to the Daily Mail, has already been signed by more than 4,000 Tory voters.
The authors of the petition claim that the whole process of electing a new party leader “is open to abuse” by MPs “who may have vested interest reasons and grievances” to settle against Johnson.
Campbell-Bannerman, who chairs two Conservative associations, said that “destroying an election leader” would be “suicidal” for the Tories. Cruddas has threatened to withhold a £500,000 donation unless Johnson’s name appears on the ballot.
However, a Conservative Party spokesperson clarified that “the rules clearly state once a leader has resigned, they are not eligible to stand again in a subsequent contest.”
While Campbell-Bannerman and Cruddas are reportedly threatening to apply for an injunction on the leadership election if their appeal is not granted, another petition on the same issue was rejected on Thursday by Parliament.
The appeal, submitted on July 8, called for “an urgent investigation into the whole process of forcing PM into resignation.”
“Bring back Boris Johnson as the UK Prime Minister. He was unfairly forced out of his role And he needs to complete his mandate for the good of the UK and Brexit,” the petition reads.
Parliament explained the rejection of the petition by saying that it “can’t accept petitions about appointments.”
The two finalists in the leadership race – former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss – emerged yesterday following the fifth round of voting by MPs. The winner will be announced on September 5, after a postal vote of approximately 150,000 Tory party members.
The new party leader will be appointed prime minister soon thereafter. Until the new head of the government is installed, Johnson will continue in the role of PM. The leadership contest was announced following Johnson’s decision to step down after a series of scandals triggered a wave of resignations of senior cabinet members.