BOURNEMOUTH West MP Conor Burns called on the chancellor to provide assurances over prolonging financial support measures for the hospitality sector.

Mr Burns said Rishi Sunak knew the importance of the industry to the local economy and the extent to which it had been hit by the pandemic.

Senior Conservative minister Mr Sunak spoke with Bournemouth businesses in November about their plight.

Speaking in the House of Commons following an economic update, Mr Burns said: "My right honourable friend the chancellor knows not least from the conversations he had last November with businesses in my Bournemouth West constituency how heavily our local economy depends on the hospitality sector and how hard hit they have been.

"Will my right honourable friend (Mr Sunak) give me and them an assurance that he will look sympathetically at their calls to extend the lower rate of VAT and the business rate holiday.

"And can I ask my right honourable friend what message has he got for this sector about their importance for the UK economy and for the wellbeing and quality of life of our citizens."

The chancellor replied: "I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with my honourable friend's local businesses and he mentioned exactly the right point – quality of life.

"This is not just about our economy and indeed about jobs. This industry is so vital for our wellbeing and it brings spirit and life and vitality to our local communities.

"He can rest assured I will want to continue supporting the industry as I have done in the past and, of course, I will bear what he says in mind for future budgets."