"As the former colonial power, Britain has an historic responsibility to Palestine. Britain is a very important country in the Middle East, it has extensive trade relations, and David Cameron should know he risks a popular backlash from Arab public opinion if he does not support us."
Mr Cameron and William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, have publicly urged the Palestinians to drop the bid, arguing that it could wreck chances of a return to peace talks. The United States and Israel have strongly argued the same.
But Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, is supportive, as is Ed Miliband, the Labour leader. It is understood that Mr Clegg will lobby the Prime Minister and Mr Hague to vote yes, in the belief that the moderate PA need British support more than ever after the recent violence.
The bid is likely to receive the two-thirds majority it needs in the General Assembly with or without western European nations' backing.