According to David Campbell Bannerman, a founder of the Boris Ballot Group, hopes are high that members will be given a chance to reverse the “coup” by Tory MPs against a leader who less than three years ago won a mandate from 14 million British voters.
He told Express.co.uk that the campaign to give members a vote had recruited a “top QC”.
He said: “There are good grounds for a legal challenge I understand. We’ll know more in a couple of days.”
While official party lists suggest there are 160,000 members of the party, estimates suggest this has fallen to 120,000.
Lord Cruddas said he felt ashamed the PM could be ousted in Britain, adding Britons live in a country he can barely recognise any longer. The founder of online financial services firm CMC Markets this week helped launch a petition calling for Tory members to vote on whether Mr Johnson’s resignation should be accepted.
Lord Cruddas, writing in The Mail, said: “The ousting of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister by a minority of MPs is deeply anti-democratic. It defies the will of the country and the Conservative Party members who elected him.
“It amounts to a coup. I am ashamed that this can happen in Britain, the birthplace of modern democracy. If that’s what politics has become, we’re living in a nation I can barely recognise any longer.”
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The row continues as former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, whose resignation triggered the events which led to Mr Johnson’s exit, takes on Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in a leadership debate on BBC tonight.
Ms Truss refused to resign from Mr Johnson’s government and has subsequently picked up a lot of support from Boris Johnson loyalists.
But the petition calling for members to have a vote on Mr Johnson argues that he should at the very least be on the leadership ballot.
In his last PMQs on Wednesday Mr Johnson hinted that he would be back.
Quoting the Terminator, he signed off with: “Hasta la vista baby!”
But the better known line is: “I’ll be back!”
The petition reads:
Dear Conservative Party Chairman,
Back in 2019 Boris Johnson was elected by the membership to be our new leader. Now that choice has been changed without referral to the people that elected him, the loyal and hard working membership of the Conservative Party.
I accept that there are current rules in place that we will have a choice between the final two candidates but that is not the point because our first choice has been removed without our involvement.
You cannot disenfranchise the membership from the whole process from the beginning as this is open to abuse by the Parliamentary Party who may have vested interest reasons and grievances to settle against our leader, which has been the case with the current process.
The membership are very upset about what has happened to our elected leader and we demand our say.
Otherwise, without the support of the membership then the chances of winning the next general election will be much harder.
Let me tell you that morale amongst the membership is low and there is anger towards the Parliamentary Party.
I demand Boris Johnson is added to the ballot as an option for the members to vote upon in the forthcoming election.