More than 40,000 fans of The X Factor reject Laura White want a broadcasting watchdog to investigate phone voting procedures on the show.

Organisers of a petition calling for the wannabe singer’s reinstatement made a formal complaint to Ofcom. Other online petitions have also been started.

Laura, 21 – who’d been one of the favourites to win – was voted out after judges Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh failed to save her.

The complaint was submitted by the authors of the petitions on petitiononline.com. The complaint is backed by the founder of website amazingtunes.com.

It states: “There is a body of evidence to suggest that there are major issues concerning telephone voting on the above programme. The main thrust of our complaint is that there is no transparency regarding the total number of votes and how many votes each contestant received. In addition many thousands of viewers are convinced that either their call was blocked or their vote misappropriated.”

However, an X Factor spokesman said: “We would never reveal the voting figures during the competition, as it could give contestants an unfair advantage and spoil the competition for viewers.

“At the end of the series, we are more than happy to reveal the voting pattern to the public which will very clearly demonstrate who the viewers have been voting for each week.

“We would like to reiterate that there were absolutely no issues with the phone lines or the voting system during last week’s X Factor. They are subject to rigorous procedures and protocols. The viewers vote for the act they want to keep in the competition and last Saturday the simple fact is Laura White and Ruth Lorenzo were in the bottom two because they had the least amount of votes.”