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Welsh Conservative leader calls for St David’s Day bank holiday – at odds with UK Government

01 Mar 2022 3 minute read
St David picture by the National Assembly (CC BY 2.0). Andrew RT Davies by the Welsh Conservatives.

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives has called for St David’s Day to be made a bank holiday in Wales, putting him at odds with the UK Government.

Wishing everyone in Wales a “happy St. David’s Day” he added: “I’d love for St David’s Day to be a bank holiday here in Wales. Let’s make it happen!”

But the UK Government has previously poured cold water on any additional Bank Holiday for Wales.

Writing in response to a Gwynedd council request last year, Paul Scully MP, the Minister for Small Business, had noted: “While we appreciate that the people of Wales want to celebrate their patron saint, more people work across the English/Welsh border than across the English/Scottish border.

“This closer degree of integration could cause greater business disruption. If we had separate bank holidays in England and Wales, the impact on both employees and businesses is difficult to predict.”

But the idea of a St David’s Day bank holiday was also backed today by the Welsh Conservatives’ party’s culture and tourism spokesman in the Senedd, Tom Giffard, who said it could have “huge potential economic and cultural benefits”.

“People all across Wales should be able to enjoy a bank holiday on St David’s Day and it would be a wonderful moment for the country to unite and celebrate our heritage and culture,” said the Senedd member.

“People in Scotland and Northern Ireland have a bank holiday to celebrate the patron saints there, so now is the time for Wales to follow suit and have the same for our patron saint.”

‘Benefit’

The Welsh Government said that they had asked “time after time” for the power to denote 1 March a bank holiday. The idea is due to be discussed again in the Senedd on Wednesday.

But the campaign has gathered steam this year as a series of councils and public bodies in Wales backed the idea.

Gwynedd Council, Aberystwyth town council and Snowdonia National Park have already announced that staff will be given the day off.

Neath Port Talbot Council have also agreed to compile a report into giving council staff a day off on St David’s Day and also to lobby both the Welsh and UK Government to devolve the power to the Senedd. Caerphilly Council has also said that it would lobby both governments.

The move was originally backed by Gwynedd Council after Cllr Dafydd Meurig, the council’s deputy leader, said that he believed that Wales could “benefit economically” if St David’s Day celebration became widespread in the country.

“That would be the ideal and ensure that all workers from all sectors have a national holiday to celebrate St David’s Day on the first of March,” he said.

“If Ireland’s St Patrick’s public holiday is anything to go by, there is the potential there for Wales to benefit economically.”


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Grayham Jones
7 months ago

Happy St David’s Day

Richard
Richard
7 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hspus Grayham 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿😀

Mark
Mark
7 months ago

I don’t know about his Inglish overlords, but it puts him at odds with most of the Welsh tories, just goes to show he’ll back any cause if he thinks it will benefit himself, typical tory standards.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark

There’s no bandwagon he won’t jump on.
If we ever do get a Bank Hoilday, he’ll claim it’s down to him.

Leigh Richardss
Leigh Richardss
7 months ago

The statement from the leader of the ‘conservative and unionist party’ in Wales confirms that’s it’s hard to find anyone in Wales these days who doesnt agree that St David’s day should be a public holiday in Wales. It is of course a democratic outrage, and a illustration of the weakness of the current welsh devolution settlement, that the powers to make this decision rests with a government outside our own country. This contempt for Welsh democratic opinion by Westminster is just another compelling reason to support independence for Wales

Last edited 7 months ago by Leigh Richardss
Erisian
Erisian
7 months ago

So it seems he might after all have, if not a spine, then perhaps at least a notochord.
That might also explain the shark-like grin.

Iain Graham
Iain Graham
7 months ago

Just watching Ruth Jones , Who do you think you are? Her family history is something all of Wales should celebrate. Her grandfather’s role in establishing the NHS.

Brilliant, something Welsh to celebrate on Saint David’s Day

Richard
Richard
7 months ago
Reply to  Iain Graham

The main reason of course is that we’re still here 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

R W
R W
7 months ago

This is a sign that the Tories in Wales are getting desperate. They are seeing how unpopular they are getting in Wales because of UK Government policies (HS2 funding, Crown Estate earnings, etc). The “Welsh Tories” are beginning to realise that they have to differentiate themselves from their Westminster counterparts in some way. If only it was genuine!!

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
7 months ago

The Northern Irish get a day off to celebrate the Welsh born St Patrick while Wales is denied a celebration of the only native born British patron saint.
Shurely shome mishtake?

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago

Did he misread the script sent down from H.Q ?

Pawl
Pawl
7 months ago

Tasech chi’n wedi pleidleisio i Lafur yn 2017 byddai eisoes wedi digwydd

Geraint
Geraint
7 months ago

A St David’s Day bank holiday could be a badly needed boost to the retail economy. All you have to do is look over the sea to Ireland. St Patric’s Day is thought to boost the retail economy by 70 million Euros. In the USA the 36 million people of Irish extraction are thought to each spend an extra 35 dollars celebrating their forefathers patron saint (a great way to build exports to the USA!).No wonder St Patric’s Day is seen as the next pot of gold in the retail economy after Christmas. Might not be a bad idea if… Read more »

Richard
Richard
7 months ago

Diolch Andrew.
Better late ⏰ to the Ball than not arriving 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

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