Boris Johnson ‘would stay prime minister if Tories back him’

Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson is set to step down on September 6 when the new Tory leader takes over (Image: Reuters)

A Tory peer said there should be a vote on whether or not the broader Tory party should accept Boris Johnson’s resignation.

Lord Cruddas has launched a ‘Bring Boris back’ campaign, saying the Prime Minister does not want to step down and believes he will win the general election.

The peer said he was inspired by his lobbying work and is counting on success.

Lord Cruddas said the couple discussed the possibility of Mr Johnson staying when they had lunch at Checkers last Friday.

He told The Telegraph: “Mr Johnson hopes there will be a way for him to remain Prime Minister and he believes the Conservative Party will make a huge mistake by ignoring the wishes of membership.

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

However, other sources have denied that Mr Johnson supports Lord Cruddas’ campaign because he respects the leadership election process.

Conservative Party donor Peter Cruddas is sworn in at the House of Lords during an inauguration ceremony at the House of Lords, London.

Conservative Party donor Peter Cruddas was sworn in in the House of Lords on February 2 last year (Image: PA)

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Number 10 said: “The Prime Minister has resigned as party leader and has set out his intention to step down as Prime Minister when the new leader is in office.”

More than 10,000 members have reportedly backed Lord Cruddas’ poll, with about 2,000 signatures added to the petition every day since last week, according to loyalists.

The two candidates still in the running for Tory Party leadership, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, had their first direct debate last night.

Things got heated as they clashed with Ms Truss and said Mr Sunak was “crashing the economy”.

Mr Sunak said his rival’s “unconservative and unfunded” tax cut plans would burden our children and grandchildren with paying off Covid debts.

The foreign minister hit back and accused the former chancellor of overseeing “project anxiety”.

Ms Truss was also interviewed as she was the only one of the two to have campaigned to stay in the EU. She replied, “Maybe I learned from that.”

Ms Truss is the big favorite to take over at Number 10 on September 6 after around 180,000 Conservative Party members voted on who should be their next leader – and consequently who will become Prime Minister.

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Justin Scacco

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