Rishi Sunak has a problem. The Chancellor cooked up such a magnificent meal with his furlough jobs scheme that no one wants the feast to end.

Over the last few days, pressure has been mounting on Sunak to extend the government’s job retention scheme beyond the October 31 deadline to prevent a jobs blood-bath. It’s not only opposition MPs and union bosses who are calling on him to prolong the scheme but now backbench MPs as well business leaders have joined in the lobbying.

They warn of a cliff-edge if the jobs retention scheme – which is still supporting up to 2.3 million workers – ends abruptly, leading to thousands more job losses.