Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will address his Conservative MPs as he looks to face down reported attempts to depose him.

Mr Sunak is expected on Wednesday to honour the tradition that a Conservative Party leader appear before the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs at the end of the parliamentary term.

Mr Sunak will on Wednesday undertake the last Prime Minister’s Questions before the House of Commons breaks for Easter.

Later on the same afternoon, Tory MPs will crowd into a committee room on the estate to hear what their leader has to say in a behind-closed-doors appearance.

With the governing party trailing heavily in the polls, mutinous rebels have talked up the prospect of Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt replacing Mr Sunak in Downing Street, should the Prime Minister face a no confidence vote before the general election.

Penny Mordaunt
Penny Mordaunt is being reportedly tipped as a unity candidate to replace Rishi Sunak (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Ms Mordaunt, who has fought in previous leadership contests, told reporters on Tuesday she was “getting on with my job”.

According to polling conducted by Savanta and published by The Telegraph, Tory voters narrowly think Mr Sunak should lead the party into the election.

The study found that 45% of Tory voters think he should stay as leader, with 37% wanting a change.

Ms Mordaunt is reportedly being considered as a unity candidate who could be acceptable to both the Tory right and moderates if there is a last-ditch change in leaders before the election.

Asked if she supported the Prime Minister, she told reporters: “I’m getting on with my job and I recommend it.”

The Telegraph suggested security minister Tom Tugendhat has also been touted by right-wing MPs as a possible replacement for Mr Sunak.

Labour has an average poll lead of about 20 points, fuelling Tory unease in a general election year.

The Prime Minister expects to hold an election in the second half of 2024 and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt appeared to indicate that October was the most likely month as he gave evidence to a House of Lords committee on Tuesday.

Speaking about departmental funding he said: “This particular spending review has to be complete before next April, when the next financial year starts.

“And of course if the general election is in October that will mean it’s very very tight and that is why we are thinking in advance about the most important element of that spending review which is the productivity element.”

Mr Sunak last week ruled out holding the Westminster election at the same time as May’s local contests.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey will launch his party’s local election campaign in Hertfordshire on Wednesday ahead of the local elections on May 2.