David Cameron has dismissed claims that voters will not be able to get behind the Conservative Party in the next general election, saying the public want the Government to carry on making difficult decisions.
Asked how he could expect people to support the Tories when some of his own MPs had voiced their dissatisfaction with him, the Prime Minister avoided a direct comment on their criticisms.
Last month Northampton South MP Brian Binley branded Mr Cameron a "chambermaid" who let the Liberal Democrats run ragged over the Government, while Mid Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries called for a "kill Cameron strategy".
Speaking at Tata Steel in Corby, Northamptonshire, today, Mr Cameron said: "I think people in this country know that things are difficult and tough right now but they don't want the Government to back off difficult decisions, they want the Government to stick with the programme to deliver the change that's necessary and recognise that we are beginning to see rebalancing in our economy.
"A million net new jobs in the private sector over the last two years.
"It's tough, it's difficult, but we have to stick with the programme because actually that's going to deliver the growth and the jobs and the investment that Corby and East Northamptonshire need."
Mr Cameron refused to answer questions from reporters on new Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell, who is reported to have launched a foul-mouthed rant at Downing Street police officers on Wednesday.
He told reporters: "I'm going to deal with this later."
The Prime Minister, dressed in a Tata Steel safety jacket and hard hat, visited the manufacturing site and viewed processes involved in making 6in-diameter steel tubes used in sectors such as engineering and industry.
He said he was there to get behind Christine Emmett, who has been chosen as the Conservative Party candidate for the Corby and East Northamptonshire by-election.
The election was called after Louise Mensch, who is also a novelist, decided in August to stand down as the Conservative MP for the constituency.
Mrs Mensch, who is moving to New York, won the marginal seat in 2010 with a 1,951-vote majority.
Asked what could be done in Corby, one of the worst-affected parts of the country in terms of unemployment and economy, he said: "Of course there are challenges here but on the last figures youth unemployment came down, the numbers of people claiming job seek allowance came down, we've had a lot of new businesses created in Corby, the private sector is starting to get going and we need a campaign that gets behind that.
"We need a Member of Parliament here in Corby who understands business, who's worked in business, and that's what Christine Emmett, the Conservative candidate, has done."