Marks & Spencer shareholder the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) is backing Sir David Michels to replace Sir Stuart Rose as the retailer’s chairman.

Michels, currently deputy chairman and senior independent director at M&S, said he wanted the role earlier this month.

Michels’ interest could prove controversial because he is in charge of finding a successor to Rose. It is understood Rose would not favour Michels succeeding him.

LAPFF chairman Ian Greenwood said: “I think that Sir David would be perfect for the job. He has been open, honest and clearly has a full grasp of the aims of the company.”

The LAPFF’s concerns are mounting ahead of M&S’s AGM next month. The board is braced for a shareholder revolt over Rose’s combined role.

Some shareholders are understood to be due to withhold support for the re-election of Lady Louise Patten, chairman of the remuneration committee, after accusations that Rose and executive director Steve Sharp have been handed outsized rewards for average performance.

Analysts are expecting an improvement in performance in its first-quarter update on Wednesday, compared with the final quarter of the last year.