Senior Welsh Govt minister suggests coronation justifies St David’s Day bank holiday
A senior Welsh Government minister has suggested the coronation weekend could justify an official St David’s Day bank holiday.
Speaking during the Welsh Conservatives coronation debate in the Senedd on Wednesday (May 3), Counsel General for Wales, Mick Antoniw indicated that the additional bank holiday laid on for King Charles could warrant an option for an official holiday to mark Wales’ national patron saint.
The Counsel General said: “There is an opportunity to use this moment to get involved and support the work of our local community groups and charities at a time when such work and support is so urgently needed.
“I hope that all those celebrating this coming weekend will enjoy the parties and the additional holiday.
“Maybe in the not too distant future this extra holiday can be regularised as a formal holiday to celebrate St Davids’s Day.”
The coronation will take place on May 6 but because it is a Saturday, the day itself will not be a Bank Holiday.
The additional Bank Holiday was proclaimed by Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak for Monday (May 8) and it applies in England, Scotland and Wales.
Rishi Sunak said: “The Coronation of a new monarch is a unique moment for our country. In recognition of this historic occasion, I am pleased to announce an additional bank holiday for the whole United Kingdom next year.”
“I look forward to seeing people come together to celebrate and pay tribute to King Charles III by taking part in local and national events across the country in his honour.”
A petition calling for St David’s Day to be made an official bank holiday in Wales was signed by over 12,000 people in March last year.
The UK Government said the cost of an extra bank holiday to the UK economy would be around £2bn.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said that while they “appreciate the sentiment behind this request ” they had “no current plans to change the well-established and accepted arrangements for bank holidays in Wales”.
The UK Government justified giving Scotland and Northern Ireland an extra bank holiday while denying one to Wales because they have “different histories, economic, social, cultural and legal systems”.
The Welsh Government has stated they have regularly requested powers to denote 1 March a bank holiday.
Speaking after the debate, Mick Antoniw MS told Nation.Cymru: “The Scot’s get a day off for St Andrews day, the Northern Irish get St Patrick’s day. It’s great that we have an extra bank holiday for the coronation.
“We have less days off than most European countries; so why can’t Wales have St David’s Day?
“The reason given by the UK Government that Wales is different historically is quite frankly an insult to Wales! St David’s day is celebrated throughout Wales.
“Let’s have the day off to celebrate properly in our communities . It’s not a lot to ask? And why should we have to ask?”
The coronation is rumoured to have been “slimmed down” due to the current economic situation in the UK but is expected to bring in £350m to the leisure and tourism industry over the bank holiday.
King Charles’ coronation will be paid for by the UK Government using taxpayers’ money at a reported cost of £100m.
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We do not need justification to have a national holiday. To coin a phrase, just do it.
Most people will be in work!!
Just take the day off. And work on the coronation. Simple. That’s what’s I’ll be doing.
Um no, we require no Justification. Especially from anyone over the border. This is Wales and we will celebrate “OUR” Patron Saint. Wether they like it or not. We neither need justification or Permission.
Most people will be in work!, so thats a non-starter!
I really hope Mick Antoniw will put his name forward when the contest for next Welsh Labour leader comes up. A great politician, one who would not be afraid to stand up for us against the abuse from Westminster.
He is a fake, ticklrd indy supporters and then a turncoat at election time. How is typical labour, unionist to the end
Bank holidays are nonsense, alot work them. But I agree it justifies a Cymru day of sorts.
So the UK Government justifies giving Scotland and Northern Ireland an extra bank holiday because of their different histories, economic, social, cultural and legal systems but denies one to Wales. So on this logic Wales has been a vassal colony long enough to be part of England. Right?
They treat Wales differently because we are the actual Britons, and they can’t claim to be unless Wales are shackled to them. This is what they want from Cymru more than anything, it’s History and identity. They will never let us go unless we force their hand.
The UK Government treat Wales differently because the nationalism is stronger in Scotland, and you don’t have the political sensitivities here as you do in Northern Ireland. The English largely think that being English and being British mean the same thing, hence why England fans were flying union jacks during the 1966 World Cup, hence why they sing God Save the King and not have their own anthem at England matches. And hence why they don’t feel the need to have a Bank Holiday on St Georges Day. Therefore they are going to think…”we don’t have one for St Georges… Read more »
I don’t need permission from across the border to do anything. Who are these people and what gives them powers to tell us what we can and cannot do? Stuff them. We’ll make our own decisions thank you. Too much meddling coming from Westminster.
Dear Rishi, there have been 62 such ‘unique’ occasions, perhaps you did not know that, indeed a certain fellow ‘right-winger’ historian’s words may contain a hint of truth unlike most of your recent utterances…Longshanks to Fat Shanks…recommended reading Prime Minister…
The Senedd can easily get around this, because there is legally a difference between a Bank Holiday and a Public Holiday. Christmas Day and Good Friday are Public Holidays whereas Boxing Day, New Years Day, May Day, Easter Sunday etc are Bank Holidays.
Bank Holidays are a reserved matter under the Government of Wales Act 2006, and therefore the Senedd cannot legislate in regards to Bank Holidays, however there is nothing to stop them legislating to establish an annual Public Holiday on St Davids Day.