General election 2017: Labour wants four new bank holidays

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 will “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.

Under the policy, the devolved administrations would have the final say on whether to approve the extra bank holidays.

Creating bank holidays is a devolved power in Scotland.

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

UK bank holidays

  • 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): Same, but without Easter Monday, and 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


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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