07/09/2011 13:30 BST | Updated 07/11/2011 05:12 GMT

Magna Carta Anniversary Should Be A Bank Holiday, Says MP

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- There should be a designated bank holiday to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta and "all that it still stands for", a Tory MP has suggested.

Eleanor Laing proposed leave be given to bring in a Bill to designate Monday June 15 2015 as a UK bank holiday to mark the historic milestone.

Speaking in the Commons, the Epping Forest MP said: "On June 15 1215 the foundations of our democracy were laid when King John met his barons at Runnymede and sealed that historic document which has become known as Magna Carta.

"The effect of the Bill, which I now bring before the House, would be to celebrate appropriately the 800th anniversary of this momentous occasion."

She added: "What better way to celebrate freedom than by having a day's holiday."

Mrs Laing said she was not suggesting it should be an extra holiday, but given the current discussions about moving the May Bank Holiday, June 15 could be chosen as a replacement.

The principles of the document, she said, echoed throughout the ages and across the globe today.

She said: "Today we need to rein in the power of an overbearing nanny state just as much as out forebears of the 13th Century had to restrain the power of the King."

Mrs Laing said the day was needed for people to celebrate the nation's freedoms, including our constitution, our civil liberties, our individual rights and the rule of law.

The MP's Magna Carta Anniversary (Bank Holiday) Bill was given an unopposed first reading and earmarked a second reading on November 25, but stands little chance of making further progress.