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Royal Mail sale rebels rise to 12

Post Office privatisation was hanging in the balance last night after the number of potential Tory rebels on the issue rose to 12.

Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, is again expected to urge the sell-off of a 51 per cent stake in the Royal Mail at a Cabinet committee on industry. But Richard Ryder, Chief Whip, will warn ministers of the threat of defeat. 'It could go either way,' a ministerial source said.