Tory Party urged to change leadership election rules to open up the race

Grassroots Tories are planning to put pressure on their party’s ruling board to change the leadership election rules to make it easier for popular candidates to win.

Reports in The Telegraph show John Strafford, who campaigns for greater democracy in the Conservative Party, is planning on writing to the party’s board to let any MP with the support of 20 other Parliamentary colleagues the chance to go to the Tory membership in a vote to become Leader.

At the moment Tory MPs have total power to let just 2 candidates go to the party membership’s vote.

This lead to Theresa May becoming Leader and therefore Prime Minister in 2016 without any vote from the membership when Andrea Leadsom then dropped out of the race.

Current rules make it harder for popular candidates such as Boris Johnson or Jacob Rees-Mogg to make it to the final two.

One board member told The Telegraph: “The current leadership of the party is particularly resistant to member engagement because they won’t necessarily pick the candidate that they want.”

And one MP said: “If there were a leadership election and Boris was not on the ballot it would invalidate the whole process.”