'Members want Boris NOT you!' Dire warning to next Tory leader before result is announced

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Lord Cruddas, a former party treasurer, along with the Conservative Post launched a petition to change the rules and put Mr Johnson on the ballot so that the 160,000 party members could decide whether to accept his resignation or not.

While the petition gained more than 15,000 signatures, the party only recognised 8,700 as current active members just short of the 10,000 needed to force a rule change in the constitution.

However, since then more 1,700 more have been submitted but not in time to save Mr Johnson, who according to the latest reports is still furious about his forced departure.

Lord Cruddas though has made it clear that the petition now needs to be about democratising the party and giving them more of a say on the leader.

He said: “Our next Prime Minister will have to face the fact that Conservative Party members want Boris as their leader! In a recent poll Boris polled twice as many votes as either Sunak or Truss as members preferred leader.

“In addition, my petition signed by over 15,000 members calling for a vote on Boris’s resignation has been ignored by the leadership contenders!

“Whoever becomes leader will have to deal with a membership that has been ignored, and disenfranchised and wants Boris as leader!”

He went on: “Members have been treated with contempt by the two leadership contenders, the board and the 1922 committee.

“If the new leader wants to win a general election then the starting point will be to stop ignoring members.”

READ MORE: PM gives his ‘final speech’ but sounds like a man plotting a comeback

There is also speculation that supporters of Mr Johnson are planning a comeback and that if things go wrong for his successor they themselves could face a coup.

One former cabinet minister said: “There is no doubt that his supporters are looking for a way back for him.”

The ex-minister thought that a massive energy bills crisis in November could start tongues wagging on the party leadership.

Another former cabinet minister said: “We expect Liz Truss to win but don’t rule out another possible coup.

“MPs could quite easily move to get rid of her if things do not go well.

“So, who knows what will happen then.”

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