Tories hit by new pressure to KEEP Boris Johnson as PM after eyebrow raising poll

In eyebrow-raising results, an exclusive survey for Express.co.uk found 32 percent of those who backed the governing party at the last election believe Mr Johnson should be allowed to continue serving or given the opportunity to fight to remain in No10. The TechneUK poll of 1,629 UK adults conducted on July 20-21 found even one in five Labour voters from 2019 were in favour of the man who freed the UK from the clutches of the EU remaining in charge.

The findings are likely to place fresh pressure on the Conservatives to change the rules of their party leadership election to give the incumbent that chance to keep his position.

Many loyal supporters of Mr Johnson remain angry at the way he was forced out of office by MPs in his own party.

Cabinet members Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid led a revolt of dozens of ministers who resigned from Government to oust the Prime Minister.

Mr Johnson conceded defeat earlier this month as he struggled to find MPs willing to replace those who had stood down from office.

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The findings of the new TechneUK poll for this website come as thousands of grassroots Tory members sign a petition demanding a right to vote on whether to reject Mr Johnson’s resignation.

The petition, set up in the form of a letter to Andrew Stephenson, the party chairman, has now been signed by more than 7,000 people.

It was set up by the Conservative peer and donor Lord Cruddas who has accused Tory MPs of launching a “coup” against their leader.

His petition states: “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.

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“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.”

It adds: “Let me tell you that morale amongst the membership is low and there is anger towards the parliamentary party.

“I demand Boris Johnson be added to the ballot as an option for the members to vote upon in the forthcoming election.”

Speaking outside Downing Street as he quit the top job earlier this month, Mr Johnson made clear he felt he had been forced out by his party.

“It is now clearly the will of the parliamentary Conservative party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new Prime Minister,” he said.

“The reason I have fought so hard for the last few days to continue to deliver [our] mandate in person was not just because I wanted to do so but because I felt it was my job, my duty, my obligation to you to continue to do what we promised in 2019.”

He added: “As we’ve seen at Westminster, the herd is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves.”

A spokesman for the 1922 committee which organises leadership contests earlier this week rejected demands for Mr Johnson’s name to be included on the final ballot paper.

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