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.
The petition organised along with former Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman has already gained more than 7,000 signatures.
It describes morale among Tory members as low with anger directed towards the parliamentary party.
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.”
Lord Cruddas continued: “I don’t want to see the PM as a candidate in the race to be the next party leader. I want the membership to vote on whether we accept his resignation in the first place. If we don’t – and I strongly expect that to be the case – it will be revoked and Boris will continue in No 10.”
Tory MP Michael Fabricant told The Telegraph: “MPs have clearly misread the mood of the party membership on this and so many other matters.
“If I thought Boris were keen – despite the treachery of his ministers – to carry on, I would support Peter Cruddas’s campaign in the blink of an eye.”
Welsh Secretary, Sir Robert Buckland, told the same publication: “The Prime Minister has stood down voluntarily. He is not playing any part in this leadership contest. He is not a candidate.
READ MORE ABOUT A TOURIST GETTING BEATEN UP
It comes after Mr Johnson told MPs at the end of his last Prime Minister’s Questions, “Hasta la vista”, in reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cyborg character from the film Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
Another famous catchphrase from the movie is “I’ll be back”.
More than 50 ministers and aides quit earlier this month, forcing the Prime Minister to announce his resignation.
Mr Johnson said at the time it was clear his party wanted someone else in charge, but his forced departure was “eccentric” and the result of a “herd instinct” in parliament.
He added: “I know there will be many people who are relieved and perhaps quite a few who will also be disappointed. And I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world. But them’s the breaks.”
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s campaigns for Number 10 continue this weekend with the leadership rivals offering eye-catching policy proposals to tempt Tory party members.
Ms Truss has vowed to review all EU laws retained post-Brexit by the end of next year in a “red tape bonfire” if she becomes Prime Minister and to scrap or replace those deemed to hinder UK growth.
Mr Sunak is due to use a speech in Grantham, the birthplace of Margaret Thatcher, to promise plans to tackle NHS backlogs, driven in part by a so-called “vaccines style” taskforce.
Warning against “privatisation by the back door”, he announced plans to eliminate one-year NHS waiting times six months earlier than planned by September 2024 and to get overall numbers falling by next year.
He said: “Waiting times for everything from major surgery to a visit to the GP are at record levels. Millions of people are waiting for life-saving cancer screening, major surgeries and consultations.”
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