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Women’s World Cup: No plans for extra bank holiday if Lionesses win tournament – despite Labour leader’s call | Politics News

The government has no plans for an extra bank holiday if the Lionesses win the World Cup, Sky News understands, despite the Labour leader calling for one.

It comes after the England women’s football team beat hosts Australia 3-1 on Wednesday to reach the final against Spain, due to take place in Sydney on Sunday.

Despite widespread public calls, there has never been an extra bank holiday after a sporting achievement.

King sends message to Lionesses – as Sarina Wiegman asks if she’s in ‘fairy tale’

If the Lionesses win on Sunday, they will become the first England football team to win a World Cup since 1966.

Pic: AP
Pic: AP

Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer has called for a bank holiday, tweeting: “It’s almost 60 years since England won the World Cup. I’m never complacent about anything…but there should be a celebratory bank holiday if the Lionesses bring it home.”

However, an extra day off to celebrate is not currently on the cards.

A government spokesperson told Sky News this afternoon: “Winning the World Cup would be a massive moment for the country and make no mistake we’ll find the right way to celebrate.

“As [England manager] Sarina Wiegman herself has said, the first thing to do is focus on the final and the whole country will be rooting for the Lionesses this weekend.”

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England fans celebrate every goal

The government resisted calls for an extra bank holiday last summer ahead of the Lionesses’ Euros victory, and there was no support for one ahead of the men’s team’s Euro 2020 final in 2021.

A House of Commons library report from 2010 estimated that a bank holiday costs the UK economy £2.9bn, and with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak prioritising economic growth, he is unlikely to be in favour.

A petition calling for an extra bank holiday if the Lionesses win has been started on parliament’s website, but it has gathered just 23 signatures at the time of writing. The government will only formally respond if it reaches 10,000 signatures.

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Guards play Sweet Caroline for England

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer will travel to Sydney for the final, but there are no plans for Mr Sunak to attend, Sky News understands.

Kensington Palace has also confirmed to Sky News that the Prince of Wales – who is chair of the Football Association – will not be travelling to watch the final either.

The King sent his “warmest congratulations” to the Lionesses for their semi-final win earlier today.

The prime minister also congratulated the team on social media, while Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described the victory as “phenomenal”.

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