Bring Back Boris petition tops 12,000 as Tory members rapidly turn: 'Get him on ballot!'

The petition has been spearheaded by Tory peer Lord Cruddas, a former party treasurer and supporter of Vote Leave, and the increase comes after campaigners also revealed they are confident to launch a legal bid to reverse Mr Johnson’s resignation.

The issue has highlighted a growing gulf between Tory MPs and ordinary members of the party many of whom want the Prime Minister to stay.

Claire Bullivant, editor of the Conservative Post and one of the petition organisers, said: “We don’t have a Prime Minister problem. We have a huge media problem.

“How can 60 herd-like MPs oust Boris? They fell for the biased media’s tricks. It’s undemocratic and the people must have their say. Let’s get Boris on the ballot.”

It is also increasingly clear that Mr Johnson does not want to go into political retirement and give up being at 10, Downing Street.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Lord Cruddas explained how Mr Johnson told him of his regrets over lunch at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s official country residence.

Mr Johnson is reported to have told the peer that he does not want to resign and will stay on if the membership backs him.

The Prime Minister told the former treasurer over lunch at Chequers on Friday he wishes he could “wipe away” his resignation.

READ MORE: Tory membership High Court bid to reverse Boris coup ‘IN DAYS’

Meanwhile, another campaign leader, former MEP David Campbell Bannerman yesterday revealed that a leading QC will take the issue of members not getting a vote on Mr Johnson to the High Court.

He told Express.co.uk that they are confident that they will have a strong legal case and will find out this week if it is worth proceeding.

The issue could also rear up at the Conservative Party conference in October when members will meet for the first time since the coup and have a chance to vent their fury.

It could overshadow the new Prime Minister’s first conference as Conservative leader.

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