Tory MPs sceptical about PM's election ambitions

North Korea's latest missile launch could have caused World War 3

North Korea's latest missile launch could have caused World War 3

Theresa May will have to allay Japanese fears about the impact of Brexit on business when she flies to the country on Wednesday for a three-day trip billed as a visit to lay the groundwork for a new trade deal, but likely to be dominated by North Korea.

But it appears that there is little enthusiasm for May to lead a second General Election, after her dismal campaign earlier this year.

He said: "I think colleagues may well be surprised by this interview last night and I think it is too early to be talking about going on and on, as Margaret Thatcher once said".

Conservative MPs had understood from an address by Ms May to Conservative backbenchers immediately after the election that she was focused mainly on steering the United Kingdom through its departure from the European Union in March 2019 before stepping down.

But speaking on a visit to Nigeria, Mr Johnson, who received public backing from Mrs May after recent criticism of his performance, said: "I've made it clear I'm giving my undivided backing to Theresa May. We have got to think about how we renew our franchise".

Nicky Morgan, the former education secretary, said it would be "difficult" for Mrs May to lead the party into another poll after the disastrous set of results the party achieved on June 8. She's ideally placed to deliver a great outcome for our country, get a great negotiation done and then deliver what we all want to see, which is this exciting agenda of global Britain. "If she comes out of it with jobs up, and is seen to have told the European Union to get off and prospects are good. well you can go hero to zero and vice versa".

Young people, the least likely group to vote Conservative in the first place, are most likely to say it would make no difference (69%) - indicating that problems for the Tories are not limited to Mrs May's personal brand among this group.

But the gamble backfired, she lost her majority and is now propped up by the support of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionists. "Theresa May leads a zombie government", said Jon Trickett, a senior member of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's team.

The Prime Minister's defiant statement that she is "not a quitter" followed reports that she was preparing to stand down in 2019 after overseeing the Brexit process.

Newspapers reports over the weekend claimed Mrs May had told MPs that she meant to stand down in the summer of 2019 to give her successor ample time to bed in before the next election. May joined her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto, the ancient Japanese capital, and was due to have dinner with him.