The country should get an extra bank holiday if the England women’s football team win in the Euro final, Keir Starmer has said.
The Labour leader reportedly backs a “day of celebration” if the Lionesses claim victory at a sold-out Wembley Stadium on Sunday. It comes after they beat Sweden, the highest-ranked team in the Uefa Women’s Euro 2022 competition, 4-0 in the semi-final on Tuesday.
However, the government has said while the country will cheer on the team against Germany, a bank holiday would be a “considerable” cost to the economy.
Starmer told the Mirror: “The whole country will be roaring on the Lionesses in the final on Sunday.
“They have already done us proud, but if they win it will be a truly historic achievement – one that should be marked with a proper day of celebration, where clubs can open and promote access for women and girls.”
Starmer was at Tuesday’s match at Bramall Lane in Sheffield with his wife, Victoria. The Conservative former sport minister Tracey Crouch and the Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Ed Davey, have also reportedly backed the idea.
Boris Johnson was under pressure to give workers a bank holiday last summer had England’s men’s team won the Euro 2020 championship. Speaking before the final against Italy, which ended in penalty heartbreak for the team, Johnson said granting a bank holiday would be “tempting fate”.
A government spokesperson said: “The current pattern of public and bank holidays is well established and while an additional bank holiday may benefit some communities and sectors, the cost to the economy of an additional bank holiday is considerable.”