Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King has warned the Treasury that the UK is on the verge of a double-dip recession.

King (pictured) was joined by senior retailers including the bosses of WH Smith, Mothercare and the John Lewis Partnership in a crisis meeting to discuss the economy’s perilous state. They called on the government to do more to assist jobs creation.

“Against a background of deteriorating sales, the Chancellor needs to support retail in creating new jobs, particularly new jobs for young people, by avoiding any new burdens and removing existing barriers,” said Stephen Robertson of the British Retail Consortium.

He added: “Retail chief executives are telling me that, apart from a bit of a boost from half term, February's sales were pretty weak.”

A Treasury spokesman told the Daily Telegraph: “We are in the process of conducting a growth review and the retailers obviously had a lot of ideas.”

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