By Lord Cruddas of Shoreditch.

There has been an issue hiding in plain sight for the Conservative Party for decades which I believe exposes a conflict of interest and focuses too much power in too few hands.

Looking at the up-to-date list of the Board of the Conservative Party a third of the current members are also sitting as MPs in the House of Commons.

But what about the “register of members interests” inside the party? There is none.

Currently, the common denominator is none other than Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee, and others.

Sir Graham votes in a vote of no confidence which he administers, is custodian of the letters of no confidence, is a Conservative board member, presides over secret leadership ballots and has a significant influence on the Board making policy changes.

Boris Johnson or any other future leader does not stand a chance against what I can only call a form of ‘Insider trading’ in a game of “who shall we have as leader next and what rules do we need to ensure it happens?”

Also, it is agreed between the Conservative Party board and the Chairman (Sir Graham) of the 1922 committee the rules for the leadership campaign. Sir Graham sits on all sides of the table.

Boris Johnson or any other future leader does not stand a chance against what I can only call a form of ‘insider trading’ in a game of “who shall we have as leader next and what rules do we need to ensure it happens?”

I ask myself why has this only come to light now? And it is clear, Boris Johnson is the one leader in decades that we the members and likely the electorate wanted to keep, but a cabal of MPs obviously did not.

But they overplayed their hand this time. Now these MPs have been found out and we need this yes/no ballot on Boris Johnson to restore democracy for now.

For the future I will work with the leader to reform the Party constitution from within to stamp out the “cabal” of control that has been exercised over us all for far too long.

Over the past four or five days my Twitter followers, membership and Tory voters will know that I have been studying, analysing, and reviewing the financial statements of the Party.

I, like many of you, am angered by the undemocratic removal of Boris Johnson as leader and Prime Minister which happened in such a way that had it been an ordinary workplace would have amounted to constructive dismissal.

So, through the eyes of a businessman of more than 33 years, I undertook this review from a business standpoint.

It is clear Boris Johnson contributed hugely personally to the party. But I now know he also contributed financially, hugely so, with his record-breaking funds raised back in 2019 when the party raised over £50 million for the general election campaign and party funding when he was leader.

As a businessman I cannot in my mind reconcile how or why the Board appears to have been so silent or stagnant in reacting to this financially.

Where is the strategy? Where was the “duty of care” to members? Did the Board act in a way I would have reasonably expected of any Board member of any company following the loss of its greatest asset? Or indeed did they meet this test? From the outside seems unlikely.

I can see the common thread, the potential for manipulation through the existing structure and the conflicts that exist between MPs, the 1922 Committee and the board, with clear and conflicting, overlapping of control.

The existing party constitution allows them to ride roughshod over the Party members and the electorate.

The existing party constitution allows them to ride roughshod over the Party members and the electorate.

That is why the financial consequences were never considered. They were blinded to their own desires, to get what they wanted without any consideration of the devastating effects their selfish acts have had on democracy and the financial wellbeing of the Party.

There is a clause in the Conservative Party Constitution that allows the board to act in the Party’s best interest above all else.

The Board can easily put its foot down and say there is a conflict of interest here, with MPs, Sir Graham Brady, the 1922 committee and the integrity of the process.

What the constructive dismissal of our democratically elected Prime Minister has exposed is the conflicts and imbalance of the Conservative Party Constitution. It is anti-democratic and not fit for purpose.

The Conservative Board must exercise its powers to maintain the credibility and the integrity of the Conservative Party, but above all the integrity of the last general election and the 2019 manifesto contained in the Queen’s speech, led by Boris Johnson and what the electorate voted for.

It should ask the members in a simple yes/ no ballot whether they accept the resignation of the Prime Minister. The board has this power. I have offered to pay for this ballot.

Without this ballot, then whoever is the new leader, will have no credibility amongst the Party members and will have effectively endorsed the undemocratic, constructive dismissal of our elected Prime Minister.

It will be a stigma that will stay with them throughout their leadership from which they will never recover.

Lord Cruddas is a party donor and former Conservative Party Treasurer.

This article first appeared in the Daily Express on 10th August 2022.

Conservative party members can still add their name to the petition to add Boris to the Ballot:

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  1. I am still totally shocked and disgusted by this coup!
    Boris is our PM. In my opinion he is the best we have ever had and is doing a fantastic job.
    If Boris is removed then democracy is dead in the UK and the ConservativenParty is finished. 🤔

  2. I have already signed the petition. I agree wholeheartedly with Lord Cruddas that the Conservative MPs led by Brady have engineered this whole shambles, having forced Boris out of the position of Prime Minister with absolutely no reference to Party Members and Conservative voters.

    This is no less than a coup by remainers scheming to get back into the EU.

    I also note that Sunak, who is supposed to be a Brexiteer happens to have Major and Blair as backers. Most Brexiteers would not want to be associated with such blatently pro EU figures in such a contest.

    This completely destroys his case to be PM and his history as Chancellor does him no favours either.

    For everybody’s sake, please save the Conservative Party by reinstating Boris as PM and cancel the kangaroo court that is being planned.

    And Brady needs to go as he has been involved in every part of this.

    If this does not happen, the Conservative Party will be toast.

  3. I’t is absolutely obvious that Brady is anti Boris and always has been, so to let him be in charge of a committee, that are making decisions about Boris and his future, is in itself, totally undemocratic. Brady and the 1922 committee are the ones that should go. Elect a new Conservative management committee, that bans previouse members, from being elected to that post !

  4. I have sent another email to Graham Brady telling him how angry the Boris voters are.
    I won’t hold my breath for an acknowledgment from him. The silence from the over privileged 1922 committee is deafening!

  5. I am not a party member, but as a member of the general public who cares deeply for democracy and justice, I am disgusted that such a situation exists in British politics, and more so by the way Boris has been hounded as he has. I am too late to join as a member to make a vote, but I can protest as loudly as I am able for democracy in the future. I add my voice to the thousands of British people who want to see Boris back in Number 10 in his rightful place.

  6. Lord Cruddas, I applaud all your efforts to effect a ballot supporting Boris Johnson. Never in my many years of voting Conservative, had I thought to witness the despicable machinations Sir Graham Brady’s 1922 Committee have thrust upon our Prime Minister purely through dislike. My sincerest wishes for your success, it is sorely needed.

  7. Voted for Boris, the traitors will regret this at next election, no one else could get such support from the public.

  8. People said we voted Conservative in the last General Election, we did not, WE VOTED FOR BORIS. Without Boris at the helm I have NO intention of voting Conservative again.

  9. I will not vote for another pm until Boris back on the list what they have done is nothing short of a coup it’s disgusting they should be ashamed so no Boris no vote come election

  10. I will not vote for another pm we want Boris as our pm we voted for him they are disgusting what they did to him nothing short of a coup so no Boris on the list no vote come election end of

  11. I voted for Boris as PM, not Truss or Sunak. Boris has done a lot for our country and gave the people the thing we wanted most, to leave the EU.
    Boris has well and truly been stabbed in the back. It has been a travesty that so called MP were able to do this.Is this what our constitution means !!

  12. Boris is the best PM ever to care passionately for his cointry and its people. From the moment we elected him the knives have never stopped. The MPs and Civil Service have disgraced the Uk, throwing toys out of prams like children. They are hell bent on destroying Boris whose hands are the safest we have to save the party and country. They have made fools of those who pay them, also their loyalty to The Queen is Nil. There has to be something done to bring justice to Boris and the Uk.

  13. I struggle to understand how this kind of thing is cominfg about. Boris Johnson has been ousted as conservative party leader. Something he was happy to join in on for Theresa May who would appear to have been a more honest PM. Lord Cruddas was after all created as a lord by BJ, so I suppose he owes him, but do you all?

    • We all owe Boris, I’m afraid, for his many achievements gained through 3 years of an extremely tough term, and no PM has ever had it so tough. He caught Covid and nearly died, had 2 children, and experienced the passing away of his mother during his time in office. All this while running the country, getting Brexit done, getting the first Covid vaccine out, and now tackling Putin, with no fear or cowardice. He has nerves and a character of steel, physical stamina, and amazing self-control. Moreover, he has a vision for the UK. Theresa May was a squatter in the EU, and is now only a Sitting Tenant in the Commons. As for the Lords, most of them are irrelevant, ancient dregs of Blair appointments, so we’re fortunate to have some representation there, even if we can’t vote for them.

    • Kevin I have to reply to your comment Theresa May was not honest she just did not want Brexit and went against the country’s wishes She wasnt voted in by the public she took over from Cameron, at least he was an up front anti brexiteer Boris took over from her to see Brexit through then he was voted in during the election You have missed the point totally Democracy…..

    • I must correct my comment regarding Theresa May she was elected by the people then we all know what eventually happened….she wasted months and made Brexit and our country a laughing stock of the world

  14. What a farce this is. Disgraceful that Boris was let down so badly by his own party members. There is no replacement for Boris. The most difficult two years in office with all that has happened. Let Boris run his term and see what happens in the general election.

  15. Another thing needs changing in the Party’s Constitution: only British citizens should be allowed to vote for the Leader, not just anyone who joins, often in order to influence that vote.

  16. I agree with all but one of the above comments and definitely will not vote for either of the two candidates Boris should be back as our Prime minister and clear out the MP’s who are not working for us and the good of our country I applaud and admire Lord Cruddas for his tireless work on this disgraceful issue that at last has been brought to our attention


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