Monday 23 April 2018 / 12:01 AM Jeremy Corbyn

Labour to make St George’s Day a national holiday to celebrate ‘our country’s best values’

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, today announces every St George’s Day under a Labour government will be a national holiday, celebrating Britain’s traditions of fairness and social justice.


Jeremy Corbyn will tell a CWU conference in Bournemouth that after eight years of damaging Tory austerity, Britain’s workers deserve a day off. 


This is part of Labour’s plan to give Britain’s workers the break they deserve and bring our four nations together with four new national holidays for the whole of the United Kingdom


Labour 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.


Under Labour’s proposals, UK-wide public holidays will be held on St, David’s Day (1st March), St Patrick’s Day (17th March), St. George’s Day (23rd April) and St. Andrew’s Day (30th November). With only eight public holidays, the UK currently has the fewest of any G20 or EU country.


Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, will say:


“If we win the next election, St George’s Day will become a national holiday for Britain’s workers. It will be a day where we can all show our pride and celebrate our country’s tradition of fairness, inclusivity and social justice.


“Eight years of Tory austerity, which Labour will bring to an end, have had a disastrous effect on our vital public services and workers have paid a heavy price in the cost of living and their working lives. 


“We will give our workers four extra days paid holiday. 


“The four nations that make up our country are more divided as a result of the damaging and divisive policies of this Conservative government.


“The Windrush scandal and the sickening Go Home vans show up this Tory Government’s patriotic posturing as a sham. The revelation that Theresa May didn’t feel ‘Go Home’ went far enough is astounding.


 “We need to end the Conservative’s constant pandering to a rich elite at the top and their attempts to divide the rest of us, creating a “hostile environment” for people who come to contribute to our country.


“So let me say to the Windrush generation and to everyone who has come to this country to make a contribution: You are welcome. You have equal rights and under Labour you will never be treated like second class citizens. We will never allow people to be divided on the basis of race or religion. As the message of our movement has it “unity is strength”.


 “Labour’s mission of social justice brings people and our nations together. Our values of a fair and inclusive society are our country’s best values. And those shared values will be celebrated by making St George’s Day a national holiday.”




Jeremy Corbyn will also lay out Labour’s plans for 21st Century public ownership for the future, declaring the 20th Century model of top down nationalisation “is history”.


Speaking to communication workers, Corbyn will recommit Labour to bring Royal Mail into public ownership so it can adapt for the future following its failed privatisation by the coalition government and setting up a Post Bank owned by the Post Office, drawing on the examples of France, Italy and New Zealand.


Jeremy Corbyn will say:


“John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, and I have repeatedly said the old fashioned 20th century model of top down nationalisation is history.


“Public ownership for the 21st century is about adapting for the future in a way that works for the many not the few.

“Everybody agrees that it is only sensible to give experts a significant say in the running of any industry or service.


“Labour knows that those experts are not distant managers or remote bureaucrats but you, the workforce at all levels, the people that actually create our society’s wealth and get the job done.


“Who knows more about the day to day running of an industry? The staff who are on the frontline doing their job day in or day out, or a shareholder whose control of a company comes from the size of their cash flow and not on the extent of their expertise.


“So in government, we will put public services into the hands of workers in that sector, in partnership with those who use those services, under democratic control.”