Express & Star

MP John Spellar: Close shops for an extra hour on Remembrance Sunday

Shops across the UK should be closed for an extra hour on Remembrance Sunday to commemorate 100 years since the First World War ended, according to MPs.

Warley MP John Spellar

Labour MP John Spellar has supported a parliamentary motion on the issue and says such a move would allow staff to attend memorial events on November 11.

A series of commemorations have been organised throughout 2018 to mark the final year of the First World War, with more than 800,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers among those killed during the four-year conflict.

Mr Spellar, the MP for Warley, said: “The 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War is a special occasion.

"So it is only right that shop workers should be able to attend local memorial events.

"I hope that the major supermarkets will respond rapidly and would urge the Government to be active in organising this across the country."

So far 45 MPs have supported the early day motion, which was put forward on March 6. They include Walsall South MP Valerie Vaz.

The motion, which was tabled by Labour MP David Hanson, reads: "That this House believes that all people in the UK should be able to pay their respects on November 11, 2018, to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country during conflict; notes that this year marks the centenary of the end of the First World War."

It adds that 'many people' working in retail will not be able to commemorate the anniversary due to the Sunday Trading Act (1980); and calls on the Government to encourage all shops to open an hour later from 12pm-6pm.

Another motion has been submitted by Labour MP Kate Hoey, who wants to see shops closed for the entire day.

She said doing so would intensify the 'peace and decorum' on the day and send out a 'powerful message'.

Ms Hoey said: "I think there's something slightly different about this year's Remembrance Sunday - it's the 100th anniversary of the ending of the war.

"Normally Sunday opening is different to other days, at Christmas it's different.

"I'm not asking for opening hours to go back (to how they were) for every Sunday but just this particular one should be treated differently."