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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 June, 2004, 09:20 GMT 10:20 UK
St David's holiday call 'won't die'
Welsh flag - pic: freefoto.com
The campaign for a bank holiday is several years old
Welsh Secretary Peter Hain expects demands to be renewed for a St David's Day bank holiday in Wales.

But he blamed a failure by the Welsh Assembly Government to consult widely for the UK Government's earlier refusal to give people 1 March off.

Mr Hain said the assembly government had not asked business leaders and others fully for their opinions.

Westminister has the final say on the assembly government's request as a new law would be needed.

Assembly Members have voted for the holiday, and Mr Morgan has previously acknowledged that people would be disappointed at the rejection of the idea, which has been criticised by the opposition.

Mr Hain told MPs on the Welsh affairs select committee that he had received a letter from Mr Morgan informing him of an assembly vote on the subject.

Welsh Secretary Peter Hain
Welsh Secretary Peter Hain is also leader of the Commons
He said the UK government felt unable to agree to it, "not least because there had been no proper consultation with the business community and others".

"It was very striking that there'd been no consultation that we were aware of," said Mr Hain.

But Mr Hain said there had been no "stand-up fight" and expected the issue to return.

If a day off was given the go-ahead, it would replace one of the existing bank holidays in Wales.

In a statement, Mr Morgan said he and Mr Hain's predecessor as Welsh Secretary, Paul Murphy, had had "extensive discussions" on the matter.

That culminated in a letter in October 2002 refusing the request, which set out the need for a full assessment if the bank holiday had gone ahead.

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01 Mar 04  |  Wales
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24 Feb 03  |  Wales
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23 Apr 03  |  South East Wales



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