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High profile Tory MPs have told City A.M. they are minded not to rebel over the coming Brexit bill, with one saying the Prime Minister had scraped through sufficiently to suggest she could remain in the top job until 2019, characterising the next couple of years as "bumpy stability".

She added: "There's been an bad lot of speculation about my future which has no basis in it whatsoever".

She said: "I'm in this for the long term".

But former Tory chairman Grant Shapps said it was "too early" for May to talk about going "on and on" like Margaret Thatcher.

The prime minister has sought to consolidate her position by negotiating a governing agreement with the Democratic Unionists and overhauling the way Downing Street works, replacing key advisers.

Instead she was forced to form an alliance with the socially conservative Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland.

Party grandee Michael Heseltine, who was also sacked as a government adviser by May for rebelling over Britain's planned exit from the European Union, deadpanned: "I don't think she's got a long term".

"The truth is we ran a very poor election and you can't just brush that under the table and pretend it didn't happen - not least because we went from having a workable majority to no majority at all, so that stands to reason", he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

But some lawmakers have come out to defend the Prime Minister.

The veteran party member, who discussed May's prospects on condition of anonymity, said he thought May was honest in pledging to stay on until the next election, despite the chorus of calls from foes within the party for her to step aside. "She is ideally placed to deliver a great outcome for our country and then deliver what we all want to see, which is this exciting agenda of global Britain". "I think it's going to be hard for Theresa May to lead us into the next general election", said Nicky Morgan, a Tory MP who has been very vocal in her opposition to Theresa May.

Britain is in a third round of Brexit talks with the European Union, but progress has been slow for May's government.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, viewed as a potential candidate in any future Tory leadership contest, said the Prime Minister had his "undivided" support but former cabinet minister Nicky Morgan said it would be "difficult" for Mrs May to lead the party into the next election, due in 2022.

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