The Prime Minister has been warned to expect “off the scale” rebellions if he pushes ahead with controversial plans to replace the House of Lords with an elected senate.
The warnings – made at a private meeting of Tory MPs last night – come ahead of the publication on Monday of an official report from a major Lords committee which has considered the proposals.
The Daily Telegraph has learned that at least three parliamentary private secretaries (PPS) are likely to vote against the plans if they go ahead.
This would force Mr Cameron to sack them and mark the biggest challenge to his authority since the Coalition was formed.
One PPS who confirmed that he would vote against the Government told The Daily Telegraph last night Downing Street “would be very wise to back off” on Lords reform.
Two PPSs resigned and decided to vote in favour of a referendum over Britain’s continued membership of the European Union in a Commons vote in 2010.
The warnings emerged from a stormy meeting of the 1922 committee meeting of backbench Conservative MPs on Thursday.
Forty out of 70 MPs spoke against plans to reform the Lords during the meeting in the House of Commons. At the meeting Jesse Norman MP gave what was described as a “powerful” denunciation of the plans.