The leader of Harrow Council signed a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to implement a “targeted” support programme for businesses once the Government’s furlough scheme ends on October 31.

Cllr Graham Henson joined hundreds of other Labour politicians from across local government calling on Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend financial support to companies who need it most.

This, they noted, includes industries that have been hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic and those in areas subject to local lockdown restrictions.

The signatories also urged the Government to provide greater support to those who have to self-isolate, including those who are self-employed, who only receive statutory sick pay of £95 a week.

They suggested these people might be forced to choose between their health – and the health of others – and their income.

“If Mr Johnson pushes ahead with his plans to make a blanket withdrawal of furlough, thousands of jobs in Harrow will be put at risk and businesses will struggle to survive,” Cllr Henson said.

“Our residents have made enormous sacrifices throughout this terrible pandemic; we now need Mr Johnson to step up and give hard-working people the security they need.”

Ministers have previously stated that their ambition is to get people back to work safely, with a number of incentives for employers to create this environment.

A Treasury spokesperson said: “The furlough scheme has done what it was designed to do – save jobs and help people back into employment.

“And many of our unprecedented interventions – including the job retention bonus, business rates holidays, VAT cuts and the kickstart scheme – will ensure this support continues into next year.

“We’ve not hesitated to act in creative and effective ways to support jobs and we will continue to do so as we recover from this crisis.”