David Cameron has insisted he will keep focusing on the "big picture" amid accusations that Downing Street is losing its grip.
The Prime Minister dismissed growing Tory criticism of the Number 10 machine in the wake of the "plebgate" row as "Kremlinology".
And he denied that the delayed resignation of chief whip Andrew Mitchell and the fiasco over Chancellor George Osborne's train tickets showed the Government was "out of touch".
"We need to focus on the big picture," Mr Cameron said. "What actually happened last week is that unemployment fell, inflation fell, waiting lists in our hospitals fell, crime fell, the right decision was made about Gary McKinnon.
"Those are the important things that are happening in an economy where we've created a million private sector jobs in the last two years.
"There will always be people that will go on endlessly about process and processology and Kremlinology and all the rest of it, what actually matters is what is happening out there."
Asked why it took a month for Mr Mitchell to quit after his notorious confrontation with police in Downing Street, Mr Cameron replied: "It's the easiest thing in the world as Prime Minister to just sack someone at the drop of a hat when something goes wrong.
"I thought the right thing to do was to make sure there was a proper apology. The police didn't want to take it further but it did become apparent he wasn't going to be able to do his job so the right conclusion was reached. It takes longer to discover whether someone can or can't do their job. It's much easier just to fire people, I actually think that is not the right approach."
The premier's comments, on a visit to HMP Wormwood Scrubs, came with No 10 under heavy fire from Conservatives for presentational failures and a lack of long-term strategy.
Party grandee Lord Tebbit waded into the row by accusing ministers of incompetence for allowing themselves to be portrayed as "toffs". "The abiding sin of the government is not that some ministers are rich, but that it seems unable to manage its affairs competently," the peer wrote in The Observer.