UK Hospitality has urged Government to help the industry tackle a £1.4bn rent bill and aid the survival of thousands of businesses.

In a letter seen by Sky News, UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls asked the Prime Minister to “address the issue of rent debt which has built up in the sector over a prolonged period of closure and which, if left unaddressed, will significantly impair recovery.”

She said that a three-month rent deferral would make £1.4bn in rent payable by the end of this month unless it is deferred, “and by the end of September, three quarters of the annual cost will be levied by landlords in one payment.”

“This is simply unsustainable and will unless tackled will result in widespread business failure.”

The letter is understood to have been sent last week, prior to reports that the Government could bring reopening forward to 22 June for some hospitality businesses.