UK Labour has called for the Lionesses to be honoured for their historic Euros victory.

The party is urging the Government to capitalise on England’s success to ensure young girls who are now inspired to get playing can go on to become stars.

In a game plan for ministers to “put the ball in the back of the net” for women’s sport, Labour has called for a new bank holiday to celebrate the triumph of the Euros champions.

The Government should also ensure all the Lionesses receive “the recognition they deserve” in the New Years’ Honours List, the party said, and announce a chair for its review of women’s football.

Meanwhile, Labour is calling on Uefa to make prize money fairer in future Euro tournaments, as it said men’s teams currently receive 23 times more winnings than their counterparts in the women’s game.

Lucy Powell, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, accused the Tories of having a “terrible record of building on our sports stars’ success with a real and lasting legacy”.


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The Government pledged to increase grassroots sport participation as part of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

But Labour pointed to figures in a recent report by the National Audit Office (NAO) showing the proportion of adults taking part in sport at least once a week declined in the three years following the Games.

The head of the NAO said in comments published alongside the study the Government had since “refocused its approach on the benefits of sport and physical activity, targeting the inactive”.

Overall activity levels were “gradually increasing”, he said, but gains were lost when the pandemic crippled the country.

Ms Powell said: “The country is rightly proud of our winning Lionesses, who have shown the best of British.

“The Conservatives have a terrible record of building on our sports stars success with a real and lasting legacy.

“Ministers must ensure we do not miss the open goal opportunity their success provides in cementing the women’s game.

“This is a potential game changing moment to capitalise on the momentum behind women’s football and ensure young girls who are inspired to pick up a ball today can be the next Lionesses.”

Earlier, asked if Boris Johnson would back damehoods for the Lionesses following their win at Wembley, his official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister would definitely want to see the team receive the recognition they rightly deserve for their historic victory.

“On honours specifically, there is obviously a process that is a matter for the independent honours committee, but clearly the public want to see (the) Lionesses receive recognition.”

No 10 said there were “no plans” to add a new bank holiday to mark the victory.