Jack in the Green supporters protest outside Parliament

A contingent of Jack in the Green organisers and supporters from Hastings joined others from around the country to make their voices heard in a protest outside the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 11:56 am
May Day Protest 1 SUS-190724-100852001

They are objecting to Government plans to scrap the early May bank holiday next year, which will have an adverse effect on Jack in the Green and other traditional May Day festivities throughout the country.

Protestors, dressed in Morris kit and colourful green costumes, met with Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd.

May Day Protest Parliament SUS-190724-104133001

They were joined at the protest by Howard Martin, who organises the popular May Day Bike run which sees thousands of bikers coming to the area. This event has also been affected by the change.

As it stands at the moment the popular Jack in the Green procession, watched by thousands of people, will not be happening on the Monday next year.

The Government have created a new holiday on Friday May 8 to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Protestors insist they have no problem with this and are keen to mark VE Day themselves but argue that it should be an additional bank holiday rather than a replacement for the Monday.

Amber will meet the Hastings area group around lunchtime.

Business Secretary Greg Clark, who made the decision to cancel the Monday bank holiday, declined an offer to meet them, saying his diary was full.

Yesterday’s protest was covered by national media with Hastings featuring in a lengthy report on ITV.

Jack in the Green chairman Keith Leech said: “Thank you to everyone who came. We made ourselves heard.”

Picture by Kevin Boorman.

In a letter to Keith Leech he said: “We fully recognise that this has caused difficulties to some individuals and businesses, but the Government wants to ensure that as many people as possible have the valuable opportunity to mark VE Day.”