THERESA May apologised to Tory MPs for the party’s election disaster, but made it clear she intended to stay on.
The Prime Minister told the Conservative backbench 1922 committee: “I’m the person who got us into this mess and I’m the one who will get us out of it.”
Some Tory politicians have been among those arguing Mrs May will have to stand down after calling an election in search of a stronger mandate and ending up losing her majority.
But Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee, said the public did not want another general election and Tory MPs did not want a leadership contest.
Meanwhile, the Queen’s Speech setting out the government’s programme of legislation is set to be postponed while Mrs May negotiates a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party to keep her in power.
The ceremonial opening of the new parliament was scheduled for Monday, but the contents of the speech are dependent on what can be agreed with the DUP.
First Secretary of State Damian Green said the government was “very optimistic” a deal could be reached with the Northern Ireland party.
But he added: “Obviously until we have that we can’t agree the final details of the Queen’s Speech.”
Brexit Secretary David Davis hinted the Brexit talks – also due to start on Monday – could be postponed too.
The European Commission insisted it was “fully prepared and ready for the negotiations to start”.
But Mr Davis said: “It may not be Monday.” He suggested, however, the negotiations would start sometime next week.
Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson attended a meeting of the Cabinet yesterday and said afterwards that the UK government could make changes to its strategy for leaving the EU.
She said: “I think what is clear is that there is a commitment from around that cabinet table, from within the Conservative Party, to now work with others to make sure that we go after the best economic deal.
“In terms of how we reach out to others and how we take on board their ideas there is lots of work to be done. But I do think that there can be changes in the offer of Brexit as we go forward.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was also at Westminster to meet the 35 SNP MPs. She insisted Mrs May’s hard Brexit was “dead in the water”.
“She has got to include more people in the process, different parties, all the nations of the UK. And I think it has to start with a determination to keep our place in the single market because that’s right for jobs and investment,” she said.
“She went to the country asking for a mandate for a hard Brexit and the country frankly told her where to go.”