JEREMY Corbyn has stepped back from supporting a snap general election after two Tory peers called on Theresa May to go to the polls early.

However, during a tetchy BBC interview the Labour leader, after much prompting, insisted that his party could win a snap election and that support for it across the UK should not be underestimated.

In December, Mr Corbyn made clear Labour would support an early election but asked today about the prospect he said only that his party would “consider” backing a Commons motion to dissolve Parliament early.

The prospect of a snap poll has been floated by Lord Hague, the former Conservative leader, who said it would give the Prime Minister a "decisive" majority to help her get Brexit through.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the Tory peer said: "We have a new Prime Minister and Cabinet facing the most complex challenges of modern times: Brexit negotiations, the Trump administration, the threat from Scottish Nationalists, and many other issues.

"There is no doubt that they would be in a stronger position to take the country through these challenges successfully if they had a large and decisive majority in the Commons and a new full term ahead of them."

His Tory colleague Lord Lansley, the former Health Secretary, echoed the call, noting how Mrs May had a window of opportunity for a general election before the EU "gets its act together" for Brexit talks later this year.

However, Downing Street made clear the PM did not believe there should be an early poll. A Downing Street source said: “It's not something she plans to do or wishes to do."

Asked if Lord Hague was acting as an outrider for Mrs May, her spokesman said: “I can’t shake my head more vigorously.”

Appearing on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, Mr Corbyn was asked if he would welcome an early general election. He replied: “I want to see a different government. I don't want to see this Government in office."

But when Ms Derbyshire pressed him repeatedly over whether he felt he could win an election, the Labour leader replied: "We will take our case out, we will do our very best to win the election.

"Nobody knows the result of a general election before they go into it, but we do know we have a very strong, moral and just case to put to this country of the kind of country we could be."

It was only when Ms Derbyshire demanded a "yes or no" answer to the question of whether Labour could win that Mr Corbyn replied: "Listen, you've asked me the question many, many times.

"How many times do I have to tell you; we are taking our case out there to win because we believe we can win."

The Labour leader blamed "media obsession" for reports of disunity within his party and insisted observers should not "underestimate" the scale of support it enjoyed in the country.

"We're going to take our case out to the country," he said. "We're very confident of the support we can get in order to win the election, to take our case to the British people.

"Don't underestimate the support there is for the Labour Party, don't underestimate the anger there is out there at the levels of inequality and injustice within our society.

"We will expose all of that - that's where our case is very, very strong," said Mr Corbyn.

Following Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell's warning of a "soft coup" planning to oust his colleague, the Labour leader issued a plea for unity from MPs.

"I'm asking all Labour MPs to get behind the strategy we are putting forward, get behind an investment-led economy, get behind our opposition to what this Government is doing in creating greater inequality in our society," Mr Corbyn told the BBC programme.

"We have a very large party membership out there campaigning week in, week out, and we have council and mayoral elections coming up. We are all going to be together on those doorsteps, winning those elections.

"There's a media obsession with the internal workings of the Labour Party. Let's get out there on the policies, let's get out there united as a party determined to change the way in which people live in our society so they can live better lives. That's what politics is really all about."

His comments came after prominent Labour supporter, Professor Stephen Hawking, the renowned physicist, who has publicly backed Labour's Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner and was pictured on his campaign leaflet at the 2015 general election, said it was time for Mr Corbyn to stand down for the good of the party.

The Cambridge University academic told The Times: "I regard Corbyn as a disaster. His heart is in the right place and many of his policies are sound but he has allowed himself to be portrayed as a left-wing extremist. He should step down for the sake of the party."