Rishi Sunak has said he is “deeply troubled” by a scenario run by the Office for Budget Responsibility which suggests the UK economy could slump by 35% as a result of the coronavirus.

The OBR also suggested unemployment could rise by over two million.

Speaking at the government’s daily press conference, Sunak said the “best way out of this for all of us is to just grow the economy, which is why trying to keep as much of it as intact as possible at this moment allows that bounce-back when we come out of it and allows us to hopefully snap back to normal as quickly as possible.”

However, he also reiterated the importance of complying with the government’s lockdown measures.

“At a time when we are seeing hundreds of people dying every day from this terrible disease, the absolute priority must be to focus all of our resources, not just of the state but of businesses and all of you at home as well in a collective national effort to beat this virus,” he said.

Meanwhile London Union founder Jonathan Downey has called for a national nine-month postponement of rent for operators if they are to stay afloat, as well as an identical arrangement for landlord’s loan repayments where the debt is secured on premises benefitting from such a postponement.

“The original idea was that it would be government funded but then when I saw how much the JRS had cost the government and how much other sectors were suffering too, I realised we needed to come up with a solution that cost government nothing. Free is easier,” he said.

“To make up for this period of rent-free, each corresponding lease is extended by nine months so those payments aren’t lost, just postponed.

“In order to help landlords manage this pause in income, we need to do the same push back for them on the next nine months of their loan repayments, where the debt is secured on premises benefiting from this rent postponement.

“Like the 12 months business rates break, it should probably be sector specific – retail, leisure and hospitality only perhaps.

”This is the only way most hospitality businesses will get through this and be able to build back on the other side.”