The government pledged hundreds of billions of pounds in loans for the UK economy to help fight the impact of the coronavirus today (March 17).

Chancellor Rishi Sunak described the latest stimulus measures as "unprecedented" as he announced over £330 billion in government-backed loans to help prop up the UK economy during the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Labour demanded the government suspend rent payments after Sunak offered mortgage owners a three-month payment holiday but announced no equivalent measures for renters.

Sunak said the "unprecedented package" of loans announced on Tuesday - equivalent to 15 per cent of GDP - could go further if demand is greater, and vowed to do "whatever it takes" to help the economy.

Speaking at a press conference inside 10 Downing Street, Sunak also said he was extending the business rates holiday to all businesses in the hospitality sector and funding grants of up to £25,000 for smaller businesses.

He added that for those in financial difficulty due to coronavirus, mortgage lenders will offer a three-month mortgage holiday.

Labour meanwhile demanded he extend similar support to the millions of UK residents who rent their accomodation.

In response to Sunak, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: "The Government has announced a mortgage holiday for homeowners but it must suspend rents too.

"Millions of people rent in the UK. Suspend rents. Ban evictions. Now."

Labour's Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell later raised the issue in the Commons, before Sunak said measures would be announced in the "coming days" to help protect renters.

The Chancellor said: "The biggest fixed costs that many families face will be their rent payment and it is right that we have regard to that.

"What I can tell him (Mr McDonnell) is that the Housing Secretary (Robert Jenrick) will in the comings days be making a statement with further measures to protect renters through these difficult times."