NATIONAL NEWS: Labour pledges to create four new bank holidays in UK

Traditional dancers celebrate St George's Day outside Sheffield Town Hall (Dean Atkins)
Traditional dancers celebrate St George's Day outside Sheffield Town Hall (Dean Atkins)

The UK would get four new bank holidays if Labour wins the general election, Jeremy Corbyn has pledged.

Workers in South Yorkshire and across the UK would get the patron saints days of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland off under plans unveiled on St George's Day, Sunday, April 23.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Mr Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, said the move would help unite the four nations and give hard-working Britons the 'break they deserve'.

"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," he said.

"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.

"And we will ask for the support of the governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland so that the same four holidays can be enjoyed across the United Kingdom.

"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.

"The next Labour government will give workers the break they deserve and bring our country closer together."

Labour says the UK has the lowest number of public holidays of the major economies - with its eight days off well below the average of 12 enjoyed by workers in G20 countries.

St Andrew's Day is already a public holiday in Scotland, as is St Patrick's in Northern Ireland, and there are also other bank holidays which are restricted to individual home nations.