Fans in London’s Trafalgar Square embrace after the Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England (Image: Getty Images)
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England could still get an extra bank holiday this summer despite last night's knife-edge defeat to Italy on penalties in the Euro 2020 final.
Boris Johnson is reportedly looking at plans for a four-day bank holiday weekend, by tacking an extra day onto the existing August 28-30 break.
Health Minister Edward Argar refused to rule out the prospect this morning, saying: "You tempt me but I think decisions on things like that are for my boss the Prime Minister."
The final decision on whether to grant a day off will come down to the PM. It's thought Downing Street could announce one way or another if there will be a bank holiday as soon as today.
Sources told The Times a day off next week to coincide with the July 19 'freedom day' is unlikely, but officials had looked at possible dates later in the summer.
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England fans in Wembley last night applauding the team after the knife-edge defeat
(Image: Getty Images)
It comes after calls for the day off to be granted to mourn England's loss and hail the achievements of Gareth Southgate's men in last night's final.
More than 360,000 signed a petition on Parliament’s website calling for a bank holiday today if England had won.
But government sources told the Mirror last week that even if there had been an England victory last night, it would have been impractical to announce a bank holiday at a few hours' notice.
Officials had been looking at possibilities for a day off or victory celebration later in the summer. Now that England has lost those plans are less clear.
The Times reports that Gareth Southgate, hailed for his calm and dignified approach to the tournament, is in line for an honour after leading the men's team into its first major final since the 1966 World Cup.
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But speaking before kick-off yesterday, minister Nadhim Zahawi would not be drawn on whether the Government would create a one-off bank holiday if England won – let along if the team lost.
Asked about the prospect on Trevor Phillips On Sunday on Sky News he said he was "not going to jinx that".
He said: "There is no way I'm going to be presumptuous on your programme and say that we're going to have a bank holiday."
Boris Johnson attended the match with his new wife Carrie Johnson
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Health Minister Mr Argar today said there will be "many ways" in which the country can recognise the achievements of the England team.
He told LBC radio: "I, like the rest of the nation, share in the pride in our amazing football team.
"I'm sure there will be many ways in which we say thank you to them and recognise that, and I suspect that will be looked at in the coming days."