UK

General election 2017: Labour wants four new bank holidays

Jeremy Corbyn Image copyright PA
Image caption Jeremy Corbyn says more bank holidays would help working people spend time with loved ones

A Labour government would seek to create four new UK-wide bank holidays, Jeremy Corbyn says.

The holidays would be on each nation's patron saint day - St David's Day on 1 March, St Patrick's Day on 17 March, St George's Day on 23 April and St Andrew's Day on 30 November.

Mr Corbyn believes the move would "celebrate the national cultures of our proud nations".

Labour says the UK has fewer bank holidays than other G20 countries.

Normally, England and Wales have eight bank holidays a year, Scotland nine, and Northern Ireland 10. Labour says the average for G20 countries is 12.

Elsewhere in the election campaign:

  • The Conservatives are reportedly planning to limit the gas and electricity bills of 20 million people on standard variable tariffs if they are returned to office. Under the proposals, energy regulator Ofgem would cap the deals, which are among the most expensive offered by suppliers
  • Tory party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin has criticised Jeremy Corbyn's record on security, saying he could not take the "difficult decisions" necessary in the event of a terrorist attack. "The man is not suitable to become prime minister of this country," he told The Sunday Telegraph
  • Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has ruled out a coalition with either Labour or the Conservatives. He told the Observer: "We will not be doing any kind of deal, any kind of coalition, any kind of arrangement."
  • The UK Independence Party is expected to pledge a ban on the full-face veils worn by some Muslim women in its manifesto on Monday

Under the Labour bank holiday policy, the devolved administrations would have the final say on whether to approve the extra days off.

The leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood, welcomed the idea - telling the BBC her party had supported a holiday on St David's Day for many years.

But a Conservative source said: "The British economy would be on a permanent holiday if Mr Corbyn got near Downing Street."


UK bank holidays

Image copyright Getty Images
  • England and Wales (8): New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Early May bank holiday, Spring bank holiday, Summer bank holiday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day
  • Scotland (9): Similar, but without Easter Monday and with the summer bank holiday at the start of August rather than the end, plus 2 January and St Andrew's Day in addition
  • Northern Ireland (10): Same as England and Wales, plus St Patrick's Day and Battle of the Boyne

Source: Gov.uk


Mr Corbyn will say in a speech on Sunday: "The four nations that make up our great country have rarely been more divided due to the damaging and divisive policies of this Conservative government.

"But where Theresa May divides, Labour will unite our four nations.

"A Labour government will make St George's Day - England's national day and Shakespeare's birthday - a public holiday, along with St David's Day, St Andrew's Day and St Patrick's Day.

"These holidays will be a chance for workers to spend time with their families, in their communities and with their friends.

"But they will also be a chance to celebrate the national cultures of our proud nations."

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