Hospitality, retail and leisure firms are facing huge levels of debt as the economy reopens, industry bodies have told the government.

Kate Nicholls, the boss of Hospitality UK, warned of “long Covid for the economy if you’re not very careful”. Speaking to the Treasury Select Committee, other trade bodies said government support had not been adequate during the pandemic.

Ms. Nicholls told MPs that the industry had amassed £2.5bn of rent debt. She added that the hospitality sector was coming out of lockdown with another £6bn worth of government debt accrued through schemes such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).