Under the plans, people would be able to legally change gender without consulting a doctor.

Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt is said to be a strong advocate for such changes, which have long been sought by campaigners for transgender rights.

At a Cabinet meeting last June, another minister described how Ms Mordant said “it was the defining moral and cultural issue of our time and that we must get this right now because we have failed to be on the right side of previous controversies.”

They added: “She said this was the equivalent of establishing gay rights in the 1980s. Nobody round the table made a fuss.”

However, a new ComRes poll of MPs suggests Ms Mordaunt could face fierce opposition if the proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act come to the Commons.

The survey found that only 9% of Tory MPs back self-identification, with 69% opposed.

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