Theresa May has made a des-perate bid to avoid a major Conservative rebellion follow-ing the Government’s attempt to hike National Insurance contributions. The Prime Mi-
nister signalled that the tax rise hitting 2.5 million workers could still be mitigated as she sought to see off a damaging clash with Tory backbenchers who fear the policy is a clear breach of a key election pledge. While she continued to stand by the increase last night, she suggested there
could be new protections for
self-employed workers. With party unity critical ahead of the Commons vote on Brexit next week, the Prime Minist-er’s firefighting appeared to buy her time with some back-benchers, but other Tory MPs have questioned the move in private. The Government has said no one earning less than £16,200 will be worse off.