Rishi Sunak has issued a message to Tory MPs thinking of backing a plot to oust him before the election, telling them “the economy is turning a corner” and urging them to “stick to the plan”.

The Prime Minister is seeking to shift the political debate to the gradually improving economic outlook in an attempt to shore up his leadership.

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.

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

Daily Echo:

Mr Sunak said 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 OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) forecasting it will hit its 2% target in just a few months’ time, a full year ahead of what they were forecasting just a few months ago.”

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.

But a poll by Focaldata commissioned by the British Future think tank found majority public support for almost all of the changes proposed by the Lords to introduce additional safeguards.

The deportation policy also faces fresh criticism after a Cabinet minister failed to guarantee migrant flights will take off before the general election and reports that Kigali has insisted on a staggered approach to the implementation of the policy.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper on Sunday said it was the Government’s “intention” for flights to begin before voters go to the polls, but refused to guarantee it.

Meanwhile, senior Tories have sought to downplay reports of backbench plotting, with Mr Harper insisting Mr Sunak “will take us into that election”.

“I’m going to be supporting him all the way through, and I’m confident that my colleagues will,” he told Sky News, adding that “politics is a team game”.

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

Ms Mordaunt has not publicly commented on claims about an effort to elevate her to the Tory leadership, but a source close to her rejected them as “nonsense”.