UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall has called for St George’s Day to be declared a Bank Holiday.

The day is celebrated on April 23 each year, and today businesses, community groups and residents across East Lancashire will mark the occasion – but won’t get a day off work to do it.

The North West MEP said: “It should not only be celebrated but marked as a national holiday.

“This is not the first time I have called for this but it would be fantastic to think it will be the last and my wish comes true soon.

“I am so committed to the idea that I have written to the other party leaders asking for their support as I think that with such a consensus real progress can be made on bringing the idea to fruition.”

He added: “Each year a big fuss is made about St Patrick’s Day and I would like to see as much fuss being made about the patron saint of England.

“There has been an improvement in public recognition over the past few years but it is really still a very low key event.

"We have far fewer public holidays in this country than many European countries and I believe it would be appropriate for one to be instituted for St George.”