George Osborne has signalled the Government will stall flashpoint Lords reforms plans as the Conservatives attempt to halt the increasingly bitter public attacks from their own ranks.
The Chancellor vowed ministers would "focus on the things that really matter" and insisted that introducing elections for peers was not a "priority". Tory MPs and peers queued up to heap criticism on the party's high command after a string of bungles that culminated in a dire election performance.
Mr Osborne dismissed the most vocal of those, Nadine Dorries, as a serial rebel after she warned that David Cameron could be ousted by Christmas. Respected veteran Lord Ryder, John Major's former chief whip, warned the PM he "won't be the master of his own destiny for very much longer" if he fails to "take a grip".
Tory Brian Binley said the verdict at the ballot box was a "major setback" for the party and urged Prime Minister David Cameron to "wake up and smell the coffee". Backbencher Bob Stewart urged Conservative high command to "listen" to the unrest in the nation and called for some "sanity" in next week's Queen's speech.
Former minister Tim Yeo insisted it was "not too late" to push highly divisive House of Lords reform to the "bottom of the queue" as the Government finalises the coalition's legislative programme.
Mr Osborne insisted he had taken the message from voters that ministers should not get "distracted" by issues other than the economy.
Although Lord's reform is set to be included in Wednesday's speech, not all Bills are published in detail on the day. Some are also put out to consultation.
The Government has yet to respond to the recently published findings of a joint committee on the proposals, which were set out last year in a draft Bill, making it unlikely it would press ahead with releasing detailed substantial plans.
Mr Osborne said the party was committed to "looking" at the issue, which is set to tie up Parliament in hours of debate, it is "not the priority of the Government".
He told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show: "We are focused on the really important issues that matter to people. Parliament can discuss these issues, Parliament is very good at discussing these issues, but it is certainly not my priority, the priority of the Government. It is not where the efforts of the Government and the executive are going to be directed."