Gordon Brown’s allies warned rebel Labour MPs last night that they will plunge the party into civil war if they press ahead with their campaign to oust him.
The beleaguered Prime Minister spent yesterday drawing up a fightback based on a sweeping Cabinet reshuffle and new policy initiatives.
The pressure on Mr Brown is expected to intensify when the results to yesterday's council elections emerge from lunchtime, with European election results to follow on Sunday.
Mr Brown intends to reshuffle his Cabinet on Monday but some advisers want him to bring it forward to today to blunt the impact of poor election results for Labour.
There are growing signs that Alistair Darling will be moved from the Treasury. Friends say he may leave the Cabinet rather than move to another post.
Moving Mr Darling would open the way for Mr Brown to install his long-time ally Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, at the Treasury. That would be unpopular with Blairite MPs.
But the Prime Minister will try to keep them sweet by promoting key Blairites.