Boris Johnson has ruled out an extra bank holiday to celebrate victory for England’s women in the Euros football tournament.
But No 10 made clear that the prime minister would back honours for the Lionesses, who defeated Germany 2-1 in Sunday’s match.
Unlike the men’s team’s appearance in last year’s Euro 2020 final, Mr Johnson did not attend the thrilling clash at Wembley to cheer the women on.
But his official spokesperson denied that this was a snub, saying that the PM watched the game at home with family at his country retreat Chequers. The match came a day after Mr Johnson and wife Carrie held a belated wedding celebration at the country estate home of Tory donor Lord Bamford.
Asked whether the PM would declare a national bank holiday for fans to celebrate the women’s historic victory, the spokesperson told reporters there were “no plans to change the current pattern of public bank holidays”.
There are also currently no plans for the team to visit 10 Downing Street. Mr Johnson is today in Northern Ireland for the funeral of former UUP leader Lord Trimble, and will on Wednesday leave for a brief family holiday lasting until Sunday.
But the spokesperson pointed to today’s celebrations in Trafalgar Square, part-funded by the Culture Department. And he said that all 23 members of the Lionesses squad will be recognised by having grassroots sports facilities in their home areas named after them.
The spokesperson made clear that the PM would look favourably on proposals for honours for the squad members.
“The prime minister would definitely want to see the team receive the recognition they rightly deserve for their historic victory,” he said.
“There is obviously a process for the independent honours committee, but clearly the public want to see the Lionesses receive recognition.”