'Let staff start work late on Monday after Euros final if you can', PM says

8 July 2021, 14:19

Boris Johnson has urged businesses to let staff begin work late on Monday
Boris Johnson has urged businesses to let staff begin work late on Monday. Picture: Alamy
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Companies that can be flexible should let staff start work late on Monday or allow them to take the day off if England beat Italy in the Euro 2020 final, Boris Johnson has said.

The prime minister's official spokesman acknowledged that some firms might not be able to accommodate for late starts but urged those that can to do so.

Speaking on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the Three Lions' historic semi-final win against Denmark, the PM's spokesman said: "We would want businesses who feel able to consider it if they can but we recognise it will vary depending on the business and company."

England booked their place in the final at Wembley on Sunday after beating the Danes 2-1 in extra time on Wednesday night.

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The win means the boys in white will be heading into their first final of a major international tournament in 55 years - and their first ever European Championships final.

Earlier, Mr Johnson said the final four fixture was a "total nail-biter" during a visit to an energy company's London headquarters.

"I thought it was the most extraordinary game. I don't think I've ever seen an England team play with such creativity and flair and versatility and just keep going like that.

"The way Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane just kept their energy levels up throughout the 120 minutes or whatever it was. It was a total nail-biter."

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Asked about the possibility of a bank holiday on Monday, he said: "I think that would be tempting fate, let's see what happens."

Downing Street later said it would set out any celebrations such as a victory parade for the England team "in due course" if they bring the Euros trophy home.

"I don't want to pre-empt the outcome of Sunday's match. Clearly we want England to go all the way and win the final and then we will set out our plans in due course," the PM's spokesman said.

"We will hopefully, when England go on to win, then go on to set out our plans."

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Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer hailed England's victory over Denmark as "brilliant" after watching the match in a Belfast bar during a three-day visit to Northern Ireland.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne, Sir Keir voiced confidence in another victory on Sunday.

"I'm delighted at the result, it was fantastic to watch in a bar in Belfast, it was great to be back in a bar in Belfast, it was a brilliant night," he said.

"It was a bit tense, a lot of nerves were shredded last night but a brilliant result, looking forward to Sunday. I don't know it if was the most unique (place he had ever watched an England match) but it was actually brilliant to be here in Belfast watching it."

Asked if he thought England would win on Sunday, Sir Keir responded: "Definitely."