The managing director of A&P Group has spoken about why Falmouth Docks remains open during the current Covid-19 crisis amid claims that it is "putting lives at risk."

Group MD David McGinley said A&P Falmouth was carrying out critical work and that every staff member had been contacted by letter discussing the current situation.

He added that management's only concern was keeping workers safe, employed and not financially disadvantaged.

Mr McGinley told the Packet: "We are 100 per cent working with our people, with the families and with the trade unions to ensure that we all get through this in as safe a manner as possible.

"None of them will be put at financial risk."

His comments came after a worker contacted the Packet to claim the docks was carrying out what he described as non-essential work, giving the refit of the Torpoint Ferry and the RFA Mounts Bay as examples.

"We're out in it, putting our lives at risk, and our families and friends. If it's an emergency, maybe; if it's critical.

"This work is in no way essential.

"I'm just speaking up for all the men," said the worker, who asked to remain anonymous.

However, Mr McGinley explained: "The ferry is an essential service. It's a sea ferry freight that needs to be back on the Tamar so it can operate and allow vehicles on that are carrying essential supplies, both to the NHS and to the shops."

He added that the RFA Mounts Bay was a contract in support of the Ministry of Defence, which was an essential employer.

The worker went on to claim that there was a "terrible atmosphere" at the docks currently.

He acknowledged that procedures were in place and everything handled was disinfected, but added: "We don't really need the dock open. There's a lot of animosity down there and it's not fair on any of us.

"I just hope no one catches anything. There's a terrible atmosphere."

In response Mr McGinley said: "I'm more than happy to talk to any concerned employee and any concerned member of an employee's family. It is a major issue for us all.

"Our only concern in all this is to keep our people safe, to keep them employed and to make sure financially they're not disadvantaged during this period. I sent every single person and their families a letter outlining that."