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Government in Crisis: Two dozen Tories hold key to pits motion

LABOUR'S hopes of winning the vote at the end of tomorrow's debate on pit closures rest with two dozen Tory MPs who have called for a full review of the decision.

The motion for debate has been drafted by the Opposition to attract maximum support from the potential rebels. It states: 'This House regrets the failure of the President of the Board of Trade in his statement on Monday 19 October to provide for a review of the programme of pit closures and demands that no pit be closed until the Select Committee on Trade and Industry concludes a review of the costs and benefits of closing the pits and the comparative costs and benefits to the nation of retaining them in production.'

Labour was remaining silent about tactics should it defeat the Government tomorrow.

The Tories who have asked for a review are: Richard Alexander (Newark), Spencer Batiste (Elmet), Sir Richard Body (Holland with Boston), Sir Rhodes Boyson (Brent North), John Carlisle (Luton North), Michael Carttiss (Gt Yarmouth), William Cash (Stafford), Winston Churchill (Davyhulme), Michael Clark (Rochford), James Cran (Beverley), Stephen Day (Cheadle), Sir George Gardiner (Reigate), John Greenway (Ryedale), Sir Geoffrey Johnson Smith (Wealden), Patrick McNair-Wilson (New Forest), David Nicholson (Taunton), James Pawsey (Rugby and Kenilworth), Elizabeth Peacock (Batley), Richard Shepherd (Aldridge Brownhills), Sir Keith Speed (Ashford), John Townend (Bridlington), John Watts (Slough), Bill Walker (North Tayside), Gary Waller (Keighley), Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield), Ann Winterton (Congleton).

Michael Heseltine will give evidence tomorrow to the Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee's inquiry.