Michael Gove has hinted that Theresa May will pull the latest Commons vote on her Brexit deal to avoid a crushing defeat – a move likely to trigger her resignation from No 10 within days.

The environment secretary refused – three times – to say the vote would go ahead as planned early next month, saying: “We will reflect over the course of the next few days.”

Asked about a fresh move by Tory backbenchers to topple the prime minister as early as next Tuesday, after the expected European elections defeat is announced, Mr Gove declined to “provide a commentary on that”.

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“I think the prime minister will be prime minister next Tuesday, yes,” he said.

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