This is why May Day bank holiday may be moved next year

A BANK holiday may be moved in 2020 under new plans proposed by government ministers.

Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 9:27 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 10:29 am
VE Day street party

Traditionally May Day, the first of two which take place in the month, falls on the first Monday. 

So in 2020 it would take place on Monday, May 4, however it could be set to be moved to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, known as VE Day. 

This is used to mark the day that the Second World War came to an end in Europe following the defeat of the Nazis and the Allies acceptance of their unconditional surrender. 

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VE Day is celebrated on May 8 and in 2020, the 75th anniversary of the day falls on a Friday. 

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There is no formal holiday to celebrate the end of the Second World War in the UK currently. 

However ministers, including business secretary Greg Clark, are hoping to push the May Day bank holiday back from Monday, May 4 2020 to Friday, May 8 2020, to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. 

Mr Clark reportedly wrote to  Chancellor Philip Hammond asking for the date to be moved.

In a letter seen by The Times, he said: ‘I believe that the country should be allowed to commemorate this great occasion, and to recall those who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War on behalf of us all.

‘It would be a tragedy if this date slipped from the minds of the general public.’

An act of Parliament would not be needed for the bank holiday to be moved, as it can be achieved by royal proclamation under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971. 

The move to have May Day bank holiday in 2020 pushed back to Friday, May 8, is not seen as a controversial one in large parts. 

However Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, told the Times that both VE Day and May Day are ‘special days’ and celebrating them shouldn't come at the ‘expense of each other’. 

This would not be the first time the May Day bank holiday has been moved to celebrate VE Day, as it was changed in 1995 for the fiftieth anniversary of Nazi Germany’s surrender.