Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “Having chaired the initial Honda Swindon Taskforce meeting, I am clearly disappointed that the outcome of the consultation is to close the Swindon plant – despite the best efforts of civic and business leaders as well as trade union representatives and Honda UK workers.

“As the company starts the next phase of its consultation, it has stated it will continue to work with the Honda Swindon Taskforce.

“We will ensure everything is being done to support those affected and to continue Swindon’s record of attracting investment to create highly-skilled jobs that offer fulfilling careers for years to come.”

Rebecca Long Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, said:“This is devastating news for the workers who have fought tooth and nail to save their jobs. The impact of today’s announcement will be felt right across the local community and the wider supply chain.

“Workers and their trade union Unite had compiled an alternative case to keep Honda Swindon open, which would have made Honda a global leader in emerging battery technology and well placed for the production of electric vehicles in the coming years to Britain and global markets.

“We await the Government’s response and urge it to pull out all the stops to ensure that Honda reconsiders its decision, as well as examining other possible alternative options to save jobs and keep this vital plant in production.”