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It is understood that the letter of acknowledgement has come from the two joint chairmen Andrew Stephenson and Ben Elliott.

They offered to set up a hub to verify the signatures on the petition.

It is understood that following a meeting with his lawyers, Lord Cruddas is writing back to the two co-chairmen telling them that they are “missing the point” regarding the leadership.

A source said: “What we are asking for is a separate ballot on whether the members want to accept Boris Johnson’s resignation or not.

“This can be run without disrupting the other leadership contest, however, if members vote to keep Boris, then the leadership contest is not necessary.”

In a previous letter Lord Cruddas, one of Britain’s richest men, promised to pay for both the Boris ballot and leadership ballot if party chiefs agree to the demands.