Boris Johnson petition: campaign to keep him as PM explained

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The petition, organized by Conservative Party colleague Lord Cruddas and former MEP David Campbell-Bannerman, calls for Tory Party members to vote on whether to accept Mr Johnson’s resignation or not.

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This comes as Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss continue to battle it out in the increasingly heated race for 10th place.

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In an interview with The Telegraph, Lord Cruddas claimed Mr Johnson had said he “didn’t want to step down” and “hope there will be a way for him to stay on as Prime Minister”.

But Downing Street officials denied the Prime Minister had said so and insisted he would leave No 10 when a new Tory leader is elected in September.

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So what is the petition about, what did Boris Johnson say to Lord Cruddas and what was the response?

A petition to keep Boris Johnson as Prime Minister has been launched

What is the petition asking for?

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started on Conservative Post websiteThe petition is calling for Mr Johnson’s name to be put on ballots in the forthcoming Tory leadership election.

The petition, addressed to the leader of the Conservative Party, said: “Members are very upset by what has happened to our elected leader and we are demanding our say.

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“Otherwise, without the support of members, the chances of winning the next general election will be much smaller.”

The Daily Express reported that the petition, which requires signers to have a party membership number, has now garnered 12,000 signatures.

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By some estimates, that number could equate to one in ten party members.

However, the ballots bearing the names of Mr Sunak and Ms Truss are due to be delivered to members in less than a week, meaning it is highly unlikely the party would allow Mr Johnson’s name to be added.

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What did Lord Cruddas say?

In The Daily Mail, Lord Cruddas wrote: “The removal of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister by a minority of MPs is deeply anti-democratic.

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“It goes against the will of the country and the Conservative Party members who elected him.

“It’s tantamount to a coup. I am ashamed that this can happen in Britain – the birthplace of modern democracy.”

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He then told The Telegraph that during a lunch at Checkers last Friday (July 22) Mr Johnson said he did not want to step down as Prime Minister.

The peer said: “There was no ambiguity in Boris’ views.

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“He definitely doesn’t want to resign. He wants to keep going and he thinks with the membership behind him he can.”

Lord Cruddas added that Mr Johnson thanked him for the campaign – and said he had enjoyed following it.

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He continued: “[Boris] said he could understand the members’ anger at what happened.

“He wants to keep going to finish the job. He wants to run as leader of the Conservative Party in the next general election.”

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Lord Cruddas also asked Mr Johnson if he would “wipe away” his resignation with “a magic wand” – to which Mr Johnson reportedly replied: “I would wipe away anything that is stopping me from being a PM in a second.”

How did Downing Street react to this?

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A spokeswoman for Number 10 said: “The Prime Minister has resigned as party leader and has indicated his intention to step down as Prime Minister once the new leader is in office.”

Officials insisted Mr Johnson would step down once the next leader is elected in September and said he respects the leadership election process.

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Who else commented?

Chris Philp, who served as Parliamentary Secretary of State for Technology and Digital Economy between 2021 and 2022, told Channel 4 News: “This ship has sailed.

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“We have a process that we went through. The Prime Minister voluntarily decided to resign, which was accepted by everyone. We ran a process in Parliament to select these last two candidates.

“He has resigned for reasons he will know. He did it voluntarily, under pressure, but voluntarily.

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“We will now elect a new chairman. This process will continue.”

Boris Johnson resigned as Prime Minister on July 7th

He urged people to ignore the petition.

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The Croydon South MP continued: “It’s a sideshow and what I would certainly say is when people get their ballots mark a vote for either candidate.

“Don’t spoil your ballot by writing something else or your vote won’t count.”

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Conservative MP Andrew Bowie (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine) said on the same programme: “This petition from Lord Cruddas is a sideshow, it should not be given any attention, our focus is on the future.”

Claire Bullivant, editor of the Conservative Post and one of the organizers of the petition, said: “We have no problem with the Prime Minister. We have a huge media problem.

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“How can 60 herd-like MPs oust Boris? They fell for the tricks of the biased media.

“It’s undemocratic and the people have to have a say. Let’s get Boris on the ballot.”

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What happens next?

Tory leadership candidates Mr Sunak and Ms Truss are about to start their nationwide husting events, with the first starting tomorrow (July 28) in Leeds.

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They have also taken part in live TV debates to win over Tory party voters.

The final debate took place on TalkTV last night (July 26) but was interrupted when presenter Kate McCann passed out on the air.

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The next debate will take place on August 4th on Sky News.

Ballots will be mailed to voters shortly and will arrive between August 1st and August 5th.

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Voting reportedly ends at 5 p.m. on September 2, with the result to be announced on September 5.

The candidate with the most votes becomes the next British Prime Minister.

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