Business leaders are urging Gordon Brown to face down a threatened Labour rebellion over moves to streamline the planning system that MPs will debate today.

Rebel Labour backbenchers are fighting proposals to remove the ministerial veto from new power stations and other big infrastructure projects, allowing applications to be decided by a new independent commission.

The rebels are backing an amendment to the planning bill – which starts its report stage in the Commons today – to restore the ministerial role. The move is backed by the Conservatives and supported by more than 60 Labour MPs in an early day motion.

But John Cridland, the deputy director-general of the CBI employers’ organisation, has called on the prime minister to stand firm, despite the apparent risk of defeat.

Financial Times