Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said at the weekend that a Labour government led by him will create Bank Holidays on the patron saints’ days of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.
Mr Corbyn also suggested that his party’s manifesto for the 8 June General Election might be ready by the end of next month, barely a fortnight before voting. He was speaking on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning.
Mr Corbyn’s plan would mean additional Bank Holidays on St David’s Day (1 March), St Patrick’s Day (17 March), St George’s Day (23 April) and St Andrew’s Day (30 November).
The UK currently has eight Bank Holidays a year, fewer than any other country. But he would need the approval of the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Irish and Welsh Assemblies.
He said: “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 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.”
While Mr Corbyn’s supporters hope his populist appeal as an outsider could lead to an unexpected shock win, similar to the Brexit vote and the US Presidential victory, he currently lies very far behind Theresa May in opinion polls.
If the lead suggested in those polls was repeated in the election it would give Mrs May’s Tories a majority of hundred or more, comparable to Labour’s landslide victory with Tony Blair in 1997, and give Labour its worst vote in a lifetime.