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EXCLUSIVE: Lord Cruddas is backing Boris as Tory leadership race gets underway 

LORD Cruddas is backing Boris Johnson in the Tory leadership election, Politicalite can exclusively reveal. 

The Tory lord urged the then-PM to withdraw his resignation when he was forced out in a coup as a new poll reveals the majority of Tory members are unhappy at the way he was removed from office. 

Speaking exclusively to Politicalite tonight, Cruddas said “I’m backing the person that was elected by the British public in 2019, that’s Boris Johnson.” 

“Nobody else has the mandate of the British people. No need for another leadership campaign.”

“Members and the public have already voted for Boris, it’s time to bring him back.” he added. 

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Boris Johnson will need the support of at least 100 Tory MPs if he is to make a spectacular comeback to replace Liz Truss who quit as Tory leader after just 44 days in No 10, and he is already well on his way to getting enough votes. 

Allies of former leader Mr Johnson pushed for him to make a return, less than two months after leaving office, while Rishi Sunak, who defeated Ms Truss among MPs in the last contest, is widely expected to stand.

In an attempt to fast-track the process – and potentially eliminate the need for a vote among members – candidates will need the support of 100 of the 357 Tory MPs in Parliament to make it onto the ballot paper.

In the final ballot of the last contest, Mr Sunak had 137 votes, Ms Truss 113 and Penny Mordaunt – who would also be expected to stand again – 105.

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Ms Truss’s resignation, signalling the end of the shortest term by any prime minister, followed a botched financial statement, the loss of two of her most senior Cabinet ministers and an open revolt by Tory MPs.

The Conservatives will now scramble to elect a replacement by the end of next week.

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