A FACTORY boss has shut down production and called for the government to go further in its national lockdown.

Structural steel company REIDsteel – which has 130 staff – is suspending operations at its Christchurch base and all its construction sites.

A number of other Dorset manufacturers are still working, but John Reid & Sons managing director Simon Boyd said he hoped to set an example to other businesses.

He said: “The welfare of our team, customers and suppliers is always our utmost priority.

“I cannot in all conscience sit working from home while sending people out to our manufacturing facility and to our construction sites. They should be at home with their families.

“This has not been an easy decision to make but these are unprecedented times. As a company we will do everything we can in our power to support our workforce, customers and suppliers through this difficult period.

“Over the last 100 years, the company has faced many difficult periods, including the Second World War, several recessions and the 2008 financial crisis and has always emerged stronger.

“Together we will get through this.”

Mr Boyd – who welcomed Boris Johnson to his factory during the EU referendum campaign of 2016 – added: “I appreciate that the government has many difficult choices to make.  However, it does appear that it is behind the curve.  I would encourage ministers to go even further with stronger measures to restrict movement and halt the spread of this virus.

“I hope our decision sets an example for other businesses in similar circumstances to our own. I would encourage them to consider their own position and make a decision in the best interest of the health and wellbeing of their employees, customers and suppliers.”