Lord Palmerston's government is unexpectedly defeated in the House of Commons

The defeat came on the second reading of the Conspiracy to Murder Bill. The bill had comfortably passed its first reading with a government majority of over 200 but it came back to parliament when British and French relations had taken a turn for the worse. During a bad tempered debate in which the government came in for criticism for failing to stand up to the French, an amendment was moved by Radical MP Thomas Milner Gibson which criticised French actions. Sensing that an upset could be on the cards Benjamin Disraeli announced that the Tories would support the amendment. Support also came from Gladstone and Russell and when the vote was called the government was defeated by 19 votes. John Bright no fan of Palmerston celebrated that ‘the impostor is once more overthrown.’