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St George's Day should be bank holiday, says north west MEP

A north west Euro MP is calling for today – St George’s Day – to be made a bank holiday in England.

Paul Nuttall photo
Paul Nuttall

Paul Nuttall, of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), reckons the English get a raw deal when it comes to celebrating their national day.

He said: “Every year a big fuss is made about St Patrick’s Day and it would be fantastic if as much fuss was made about the patron saint of England.

“Like a growing number of English folk, I believe St George’s Day should not only be celebrated but marked as a national holiday.”

Mr Nuttall, deputy leader of UKIP, added: “There has been an improvement in public recognition over the past couple of years but St George’s Day is still very low key.

“We have far fewer public holidays than many European countries and I believe it would be appropriate for one to be instituted for St George.”

It is unlikely that the Government will take up his idea.

Recent figures from the Centre for Economics and Business Research suggest that each bank holiday costs the UK economy £2.3bn – almost £19bn a year in total.

It argues that they should be more spread out to stop businesses “losing momentum”.

In a normal year, seven bank holidays fall between December and May. Just one – August bank holiday – falls between June and November.

Carlisle Conservative MP John Stevenson believes we have enough public holidays already.

He said: “We have eight statutory bank holidays. That’s a good thing but I don’t think there’s a need to have any more.

“We do have additional holidays for special events, such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year, and that is entirely appropriate.

“But the economy is the most important thing and we have to make sure it can perform properly.”

Mr Nuttall’s enthusiasm is undiminished, however.

He wants people to wear a red rose today to show support for St George’s Day.

He said: “Much Guinness is quaffed on St Patrick's Day.

“No doubt the patriotic English could do the same on St George’s Day with traditional real ales.

“It could be a fillip for our ailing pub industry.”


Have your say

You go to any other country and they are proud to be Irish, Scottish, German, French or American but if you are English you only say you are 'British' I have yet to hear someone abroad say I am English and proud of the fact. So until you are proud to be ENGLISH you do not need to celebrate the English saints day

Posted by DJ on 1 May 2012 at 14:57


Dave Evans @ 8.36am April 29 - Mr Nuttall is not "an MP [from] elsewhere in the country." He is one of the Euro MPs who represents the north west, which includes Cumbria.

Online editor

Posted by Ian on 29 April 2012 at 10:28

View all 25 comments on this article

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