London Mayor Sadiq Khan will attend the Government’s emergency Cobra meeting this afternoon as Downing Street considers further measures to tackle coronavirus.

Ministers will today consider banning large gatherings and advising older people to self-isolate.

The Mayor has so far been excluded from the top-level briefings on Covid-19, despite making the case that as London leader he should be present.

City Hall said Downing Street gave no explanation for the U-turn, and the Cabinet Office declined to comment on Cobra meetings.

The Mayor has attended the top-level emergency briefings under David Cameron and Theresa May, as well as under Boris Johnson following the London Bridge terror attack last year.

In an interview with LBC radio last week, he said it was “odd” that he had not been included, given the risk of the virus spreading in London.

Mr Khan is today calling on the Government to increase statutory sick pay, and provide it to everyone affected by coronavirus – including self-employed workers.

Currently, those eligible for statutory pay can claim £94.25 a week from day one during self-isolation.

Workers who are not eligible can sign up for Universal Credit and claim £73.10 a week, in measures announced by the Government in the budget last week.

Today, the Mayor says ministers should also pay local councils and banks to provide rent deferrals and breaks from mortgage payments if needed.

He will later meet with London business leaders – including trade unions and small business representatives – to discuss the economic impact of the virus in the capital.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Khan said there has “never been a more important time” to stand up for workers rights than in the face of “an unprecedented public health crisis”.

He said: “I am particularly concerned about the impact of coronavirus on Londoners in the lowest paid jobs and on small and medium-sized businesses – particularly those in the hospitality and tourism sectors.”

London Chamber of Commerce chief executive Richard Burge admitted that coronavirus will “have a huge impact upon London’s business and economy” and support from local and national Government would be “vital”.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trade Unions Congress (TUC) said jobs “must be protected” with “bold solutions” – including better sick pay and wage subsidies.

Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of business organisation London First, said employee health “comes first” and businesses would be “as adaptable and flexible as possible”.

And Rowena Howie, London policy chair for the Federation of Small Businesses, called on larger companies to pay invoices immediately, and landlords to support small business tenants.

She said: “Now is the time for everyone to step up and support the heartbeat of London, the small businesses, before many are lost as a result of the coronavirus crisis.”

But Independent Workers Union of Great Britain general secretary Jason Moyer-Lee said the Mayor should use his own powers to guarantee workers rights.

He said: “We welcome Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s call for sick pay for ‘gig economy’ workers.

“However, rather than call on others to provide this, he could use the powers he has now to make sick pay a condition of licensing for minicab operators.”

The union boss said he had long called for change on this issue, adding: “Perhaps now the Mayor will finally take action.”