THE FORMER Chairman of the Pudsey Conservative Association has called on moderate Tories to join him in leaving the party rather than “contaminate themselves and their reputations by propping up Boris Johnson in 10 Downing Street.”

Dr Jason Aldiss resigned his Conservative Party membership when Mr Johnson became Prime Minister. And he said removing the whip from 21 Conservative MPs for attempting to block a no-deal Brexit should be “the line in the sand for remaining One Nation Tories.”

Dr Aldiss said: “Boris Johnson’s decision to throw 21 esteemed MPs out of the Conservative Parliamentary Party for daring to put the wellbeing of the country before his personal political ambitions was a crime against democracy.

“Purging esteemed Parliamentarians such as Ken Clarke, Sir Nicholas Soames, David Gauke and Philip Hammond after decades of service was vindictive and also incredibly short-sighted if he was in any way serious about protecting the party’s hard-earned reputation as a broad church.

“There is now no reason whatsoever for any political centrist in this country to vote Conservative in the General Election which we will inevitably see in the coming weeks.

“I worked tirelessly alongside my former colleagues for many years to try to change the Tory image as the Nasty Party. But, under Boris Johnson, the Nasty Party is back – and this time it is nastier than ever before.

“As I said at the time of my own resignation, Theresa May’s period in office was characterised by courage, tenacity, dignity and grace under extreme fire.”

He added: “Under Mr Johnson’s leadership, the Party has already become a metaphor for intolerance, extremism and bullying.

“Should he win the General Election with a working majority and achieve his dream of a no-deal Brexit, I fear our country will be dragged in the same direction.

“What the Prime Minister has done by ejecting the already dwindling number of moderate Conservative MPs should be the line in the sand for remaining One Nation Tories.

On Sunday Amber Rudd told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show her decision to suddenly quit as work and pensions secretary on Saturday was influenced by the sacking of 21 Tory rebels.

But allies of Boris Johnson defended his move, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab insisting the Prime Minister was “right to restore some discipline”.

Last week the decision to prorogue parliament was backed by Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew.

He said: “There has been a great deal of discussion on prorogation amounting to a betrayal of democracy. The greatest betrayal of democracy would be to ignore the outcome of the referendum and to remain in the European Union.”