Boris Johnson is facing his first parliamentary defeat since winning the 2019 election, with up to 60 Tory MPs prepared to defy party whips and vote for an amendment to new Covid legislation.
Legislation to extend powers allowing the Prime Minister to unilaterally impose coronavirus restrictions by a further six months will come before the House of Commons on Wednesday.
However, an amendment to the legislation by Graham Brady, chair of the powerful 1922 committee of backbench Tories, would force the government to get parliamentary approval for all new coronavirus measures.
It is believed there are enough Tory MPs in favour of the amendment
for it to pass if all opposition parties vote for it too.