MORE than 10,000 Tory party members have reportedly signed a petition demanding Boris Johnson is added to the leadership ballot, those loyal to the PM have claimed.

The caretaker Prime Minister is currently riding out his last few weeks in office while Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former chancellor Rishi Sunak battle it out to replace him, with the winner due to be declared on September 5.

But all is clearly not well in the Tory party – with a swathe of the membership demanding they are given the option to keep Johnson as party leader – despite the numerous scandals that have plagued his tenure and ultimately led to him being removed from office by MPs.

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The bid to keep Johnson in power is backed by Vote Leave co-founder and billionaire Lord Cruddas of Shoreditch, who was ennobled by Johnson and has given millions to the Tory party in donations.

Former Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman is also supporting the plot, tweeting a mock-up of Johnson and the Terminator earlier this week emblazoned with the phrase “Hasta la vista baby, I’ll be back”, nodding to Johnson’s sign-off at his last PMQs.

Tory MP Michael Fabricant has also recently joined the campaign, after Penny Mordaunt – who he originally backed – was kicked out of the race.

The Johnson cheerleaders have been stirring the pot in recent days, with Cruddas telling The Telegraph that removing him as PM was “anti-democratic”, adding he wouldn’t be surprised if there were “protests and a battle bus” outside of the 12 leadership hustings set to be held around the country, including one in Perth.

The Conservative Post, a Tory blog which is openly backing Johnson, claimed on Monday that more than 10,000 members had signed the petition to get the PM on the ballot.

There are estimated to be around 160,000 Tory party members across the UK – which equates to only around 6.25% of the membership asking for Johnson to be on the ballot.

The petition states that Tory members' choice of Johnson as PM was “changed without referral to the people that elected him” and that although they can now choose between Truss and Sunak, “that is not the point because our first choice has been removed without our involvement”.

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It continues: “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.”

The petition adds that the morale amongst Tory members is low and there is “anger towards the Parliamentary Party”.

The National: Billionaire Lord Cruddas is one of the main backers of the campaign and a Johnson loyalistBillionaire Lord Cruddas is one of the main backers of the campaign and a Johnson loyalist

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

Unlike parliamentary petitions, there is no vehicle to see exactly how many people have signed, with those taking part being required to log their membership number in the form, which is sent directly to Tory party chairman Andrew Stephenson.

Former Tory party treasurer Cruddas said: “The membership are very upset about what has happened to our elected leader and we demand our say.”

Meanwhile, Bannerman added: “The heat on the board is intense because you are destroying an election winner.

“It’s suicidal for the Tory party, you are guaranteeing a Labour victory.

“The members deserve the choice of whether to retain Boris as leader or to dismiss him.

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“Democracy demands a separate Boris ballot.”

In response to reports Johnson could stay on as Prime Minister if the ballot bid is successful, his spokesperson said he had already given his “farewell address” to parliament.

The PM’s official spokesperson said: “You heard the Prime Minister say his farewell address to Parliament, he gave advice for his successor.

“Beyond that, obviously I can’t comment on what the Prime Minister may choose to do once he ceases to be Prime Minister, that wouldn’t be one for me.”