The Prime Minister launched a political fightback after days of leadership speculation amid fears over a wipe-out at the polls.

Rishi Sunak has insisted “the economy is turning a corner” and urged mutinous Tory MPs to “stick to the plan” amid reports of a plot to oust him before the election.

With many Tories increasingly fearful about losing their seats, there have been claims that some MPs are considering replacing him with Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt before a national vote.

Mr Sunak faces another tough week with his Rwanda Bill returning to the Commons and an appearance before the backbench 1922 committee.

He hopes to see “more progress” on inflation when the Office for National Statistics releases the latest inflation data on Wednesday.

He said: “There is now a real sense that the economy is turning a corner with all the economic indicators pointing in the right direction.

“This year, 2024, will be the year Britain bounces back.

“Inflation has more than halved, with the Office for Budget Responsibility) forecasting it will hit its two per cent target in just a few months’ time, a full year ahead of what they were forecasting just a few months ago.”

Echo: PA's opinion poll tracker.PA's opinion poll tracker. (Image: PA)

On Monday, Mr Sunak will set out reforms to boost apprenticeships and cut red tape for small businesses at a conference in Warwickshire.

MPs will later consider changes made to his Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill by the House of Lords.

The Government will seek to overturn peers’ amendments after it suffered 10 defeats in the upper chamber.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper tweeted: “Unbelievable. Govt finally admitting here that Tories’ flagship £500m Rwanda scheme will only cover around 150 people. Probable cost of this failing gimmick to British taxpayer is near £2m per person.”

Former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith told MPs to “stop turning inwards on ourselves”.

One senior ally told the Times Mr Sunak would sooner call a general election than be forced into a leadership contest.

He is also under pressure from Labour and the Liberal Democrats to name the date for the election after he ruled out holding it on May 2.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey told his party’s spring conference on Sunday that Mr Sunak “sounds like he’s already given up” and accused him of “outrageously running down the clock” and “squatting” in No 10.