May Day bank holiday to be moved back to coincide with VE Day anniversary
PUBLISHED: 14:20 08 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:20 08 June 2019
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The early May Day bank holiday is set to be moved back four days next year - to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
The bank holiday is usually held on the first Monday of the month but is now set to be put back so as to coincide with national events commemorating the day.
Sir Andrew Gregory, chief executive of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, said he thought putting back the bank holiday was a "fitting" idea.
He said: "It is our duty to keep the events of the past alive in collective memory, including future generations - this is how we ensure that such a conflict never happens again.
"It is our hope that the nation takes a moment to reflect on the significance of this date, as a milestone that changed the course of history for the whole world."
VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, is remembered on May 8 and marks the day Allied forces officially accepted the surrender of Nazi Germany, putting an end to World War Two.
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When the idea of moving the date of the bank holiday was first pitched, it gained support from a number of Suffolk veterans.
Mark Peake, who was member of the armed forces for 24 years, said: "That's a great idea and a very important time in history to remember VE Day."
The bank holiday will be moved in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, however it may not change in Scotland as decisions on bank holidays are made by the devolved Scottish parliament in Holyrood.
Business secretary Greg Clark said moving the bank holiday was a "right and fitting tribute".
He added: "VE Day marked an historic moment in not only our nation's but the world's history and it is important that we commemorate this great occasion on its 75th anniversary.
"Honouring those who did their duty - whether on the battlefields of Europe or through their efforts and sacrifices here at home."
This is only the second time the bank holiday has been moved - it was switched from May 1 to May 8 in 1998 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE Day.