Sadiq Khan has promised emergency accommodation to people fleeing domestic violence.

The announcement comes after statistics revealed there has been a 25% surge in calls to domestic violence hotlines since the lockdown began.

Several charities have found abusive partners are using social isolation and quarantine rules as another means of controlling their victim and preventing them from accessing help.

Today (May 4), the first of 82 new flats financed by City Hall to meet greater demand became available in London.

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said: "We have invested £1.5 million in this and the message to anyone who has experienced domestic violence and domestic abuse is 'don't suffer in silence'.

"Please ring the police, ring the charities, ring the helpline and you will receive the assistance you desperately need."

Mr Khan said that unlike London's rough sleepers, helping victims of domestic abuse was not as straightforward as placing them in empty hotel rooms.

Sadiq Khan added: "When it comes to providing safe spaces for victims of domestic violence you have got to work with the experts because otherwise, you are going to inadvertently place a victim in a place the perpetrator knows about.

"So we have worked with the experts over the last few weeks finding the right pieces of accommodation across our city in secret locations to make sure they are fit for purpose.

"It is important to provide the wraparound care you often need - it is not simply a safe place, it is also social care, legal support and mental health services.

"Some women have left their home with nothing at all so it is providing toiletries and clothes as well.

"Many of the flats are large enough to house families with children."

He added that the flats had been secured for at least six months, and leases will be reviewed before they expire to see if they need to be extended.

The national domestic abuse helpline is open 24 hours and can be reached on 0808 2000 247 for advice and support.

In an emergency, call 999.