Sadiq Khan will meet London business groups and trade unions at City Hall today in order to learn more about the impacts of coronavirus and what national government can do to help. The gathering will take place in the wake of Transport for London announcing large drops in demand for Underground and bus bus journeys and the number of confirmed cases of people in London diagnosed with the virus has officially exceeded 400 – 29 per cent of the UK total.
Representatives of the Federation of Small Businesses, the Trades Union Congress, London First and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry will attend the meeting, with the Mayor saying “there has never been a more important time for me to stand up for workers and employers”.
He expressed particular concern about Londoners “in the lowest paid jobs and on small and medium-sized businesses” especially those in the hospitality and tourism sectors, which TfL’s figures show are already being hit by falling numbers of overseas visitors.
There were 407 confirmed cases in London as of yesterday morning listed by Public Health England, with Kensington & Chelsea continuing to be the local authority area reporting the largest number with 40 cases, followed by Westminster with 35, Southwark with 30 and Lambeth with 26.
Outer London boroughs have reported the smallest numbers of cases, with Croydon, Kingston, Richmond and Waltham Forest each with two and Redbridge with a single case so far, although Barnet has had 25. There had been 1,391 confirmed cases across the UK as of 9:00 a.m. yesterday.
The contiguous Central and west central boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham and Camden, which includes part of the West End, accounted for 116 of the 407 Greater London cases. At the weekend ITV reported that “lockdowns of cities or parts of cities have not been ruled out”.
The train drivers’ union ASLEF is due to meet senior TfL managers today to discuss the coronavirus issue after consulting with its health and safety representatives. District organiser Finn Brennan, whose responsibilities cover Underground and London Trams staff, said yesterday: “Our approach will be to do what is right for our members, their families and the wider community we are part of”.
OnLondon.co.uk is dedicated to improving the standard of coverage of London’s politics, development and culture. It depends on donations from readers. Can you spare £5 (or more) a month? Follow this link if you would like to help. Thank you.