The leader of one of the south-east London councils covered in the city-wide Covid-19 restrictions says “action is needed now” to address spiralling rates of the virus seen elsewhere in the capital.

Greenwich leader Dan Thorpe backed the tighter restrictions in an email to residents on Thursday afternoon, saying they were needed as cases jumped in the borough since the weekend.

It comes as some fellow political figures representing communities on the outer boundaries of south-east London expressed anger at the new measures, which come despite that part of the city having a lower rate of infection than the rest of the capital.

In his letter, Cllr Thorpe acknowledged residents “may also be wondering” why Greenwich had to undertake the additional constraints.

“This is a worrying, anxious time for all of us. But I am asking all residents not to panic, but plan, and begin to think about the changes you will need to make from tomorrow night,” Cllr Thorpe wrote.

“You may also be wondering why Royal Greenwich has to do this when we are not in the same place as other parts of London. But, like in every borough in London, the rates have been going in the wrong direction. That is why action is needed now.

“In Royal Greenwich there were 208 cases of Covid-19 confirmed in the last seven days, that’s 72.2 per 100,000 which has increased from a rate of 60.5 per 100,000 on Sunday.

“It is clear we need to do all we can to stop the spread of this virus and I want to assure you I am doing all I can to get the support our council, our businesses and our local economy needs moving forward.”

Cllr Thorpe also urged residents to contact the council for support required during the partial-lockdown.

“Whether this is financial, or you are a business that is struggling, please do get in touch. I can only make the case for Royal Greenwich with your help,” he said.

MPs representing the neigbhouring borough of Bromley, Bob Neill (Bromley and Chislehurst) and Gareth Bacon (Orpington) are among those who have decried the city-wide lockdown, saying it was unfair for the outer London area to be under the same restrictions as inner-city boroughs with higher rates.