MP Mark Pritchard attacks Sunday trading hours move

Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard today said the government had ‘got it wrong’ over plans to extend Sunday shopping hours.

Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard today said the government had ‘got it wrong’ over plans to extend Sunday shopping hours.

Large shops are only allowed to open for six hours between 10am and 4pm on Sundays, but Sunday trading hours were extended for the Olympics and will remain in place until the end of the Paralympic Games.

And ministers have been pushing to make the move permanent to help boost the economy.

But Mr Pritchard said: “The fact is that the Government says that it needs more growth in the economy, we would all support that, but I don’t think extending Sunday trading hours would necessarily bring about significant growth.

“I think the Government, whilst positive and wanting to be positive for business, just got this wrong.

“The fact is many people spend Sunday with their families, they decide to go to church, just have some down time and if the Government want to see Sunday like every other trading day then I think they should be explicit and say it.

“Of course when the extension to Sunday trading hours went ahead, they said that this would be temporary only.”

Mr Pritchard said the current restriction also meant workers could enjoy a day-off.

“I think all of us deserve rest and that includes shop workers,” he said.

“I mean as somebody who has worked in a shop on a Sunday, and not every Conservative MP has done that, I know that there is a lot of pressure on workers to turn up, there’s a question of whether people are overlooked for promotion.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman has said that the impact of the changes would be reviewed following the Paralympic Games.

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Comments for: "MP Mark Pritchard attacks Sunday trading hours move"


A bit late for him to comment now.Like the extended licesing hours I struggle to understand how longer opening hours will help the economy or trade. I only have the same amount that I can spend regardless of the numbers of hours the shops / pubs are open. Am I missing the point ??

The Original Jake

" Am I missing the point ??"

I don't think you are because I thought exactly the same.

bob dobbs

Firstly, Mark is wrong (and he knows it) to insinuate that workers will have to work weekends, if they do, they'll get 2 days off within the week. The working time directive ensures this.

Secondly, since when have the Tories cared about workers rights?

I went to Tesco on Sunday about 6pm and it was brilliant, staff didn't exactly look unhappy to be earning money.


Spot on Bob ! also what about the chance of more people being able to take part time jobs ? Everyone says we have no jobs this should help towards gaining more and helping people back to work, rather than sitting at home moaning that large shops may be open or not, I`m surprised they complain anyways, they will have more chance to spend the money they get off the tax payer, on cheap booze.


Well said Mr Pritchard. A blatant and desperate attempt to squeeze more blood out of the stone. You don't even have to bring religion into the argument. These idiots have no concept of how important it is for society to have one day off to take the foot off the brake and to de-stress. I didn't vote for this lot and I certainly don't see why the quality of my life should be eroded by the retailers and their shareholders disgusting greed.


I'm not convinced it is such a bad thing to have longer shopping hours as an option to retailers. The main point of this would allow greater flexibility and convenience to the consumer which is one area the internet has excelled at.

The working directive is in place to ensure people are not exploited to work more than they should but it could open up opportunities for employment for people to fill these extra working hours which in turn generates the additional income to spend as the person wishes which could include retail.

Smaller shops have the opportunity to operate longer on Sundays if they wish but why would they if the bigger brand stores are not open alongside reducing the pull into the area. Changing the hours could support those too.

That said, as highlighted before, no one is forced to be open for the extended period but it offers retailers a choice that has not been possible before. People argue about large shopping centres opening until sometimes midnight and 24 hour supermarket opening hours but the truth is both these initiatives have worked and have offered the convenience desired by the consumer. People work all sorts of hours on different days so maybe this could add extra opportunities to them to a leisurely balanced shopping experience rather than the mad dash due to opening hours and working hours?

The same arguements came about when Sunday trading was even brought up and now it is almost alien to see a shop not open on a Sunday! With University and other study options also rising in costs this could be another door to help support those during study?

This whole situation might not ideal for all but maybe it could be seen as adapting to a changing world?

kim evans

let me get this strait, so people who work in shops shouldnt have to work on a sunday, what about people who work in bars and hotels, they dont shut early on a sunday and no one bothers to complain about that,i have worked in pubs and hotels for 12 years and would like someone to complain about pub opening hours but in this day and age people need all the money they can get, so if shops choose to open till 6 thats a few more pennies for some familys so i dont see anything wrong with it.


You've raised a good point Kim. How many of the 'Anti-Sunday-Trading' letter writers and tub-thumpers would U-Turn if they couldn't go to pubs,restaurants,cinemas,theme parks or buy petrol ? MOST I suspect.

Andrew finch

The sunday trading laws were a mistake in the first place .

I always remember having a good argument with a lady who worked as a college lecturer she said i was old fashioned and shops should be open 7 days a week every day of the year if they so wish.

However we were all told staff would not be forced to work a sunday, that ended up a myth and sunday is incorporated in to the working week with no extra pay.

It was a year or so after sunday trading was brought in that the lady i argued with was asked to work a saturday morning on the odd occasion as required her reaction was predictable a resounding NO my weekends are for my family and thats the point those who support will not be working a weekend never mind a sunday .

The issue is we need to keep one day a week for family time but hey that seems to be frowned on in the uk today , which is why we have such a high divorce rate again accepted now as a lifestyle choice , different dads, etc etc all = Broken britain.

The Original Jake

But Andrew, in another long-running thread you insist that the unemployed should be forced to take any work, pretty much under any circumstances. I believe "no job, no money, no choices" was your exact phrase.

You have already solved the Sunday trading staffing problem.

Andrew finch

Different subject altogether Jake.

I may also be wrong but these people forced in to these very "short"term work lets put it in to perspective here placements, in the issue you refer to, are committed to them mon-fri only they do not i believes receive benefits for a Sunday either?? so could not be ordered to work a sunday could be asked but not ordered .

Saying all that if sunday rules were changed then it would mainly affect those already in work at that establishment anyone applying for work there after would however have a choice as to whether to work there as they would be aware they have to work normal hours on a sunday for basic pay.


It was always going to happen that if you opened the door to longer Sunday trading for the Olympics, people would then expect it for ever, despite that the Govt said. You just cannot trust this Govt on anything.

As for employees right being protected, I know of a major national chain of stores that said to staff they don't have to work Sundays, but if they don't, they then must work every single Saturday of the year as part of their rota - being blackmailed effectively.

Why do people want to shop all hours anyway? You don't suddenly have more money to spend on food or other goods. The consumer culture in this country is appalling and shows people's shallowness if shopping is their major entertainment!


I don't see that more staff will be taken on. In most supermarkets the self-service tills are multiplying, with up to eight of them overseen by one member of staff. Also, as has been pointed out, people haven't got any more money to spend.

I'm not really against longer opening hours on Sundays, but I can't see that the case is made for it.

Kat de Gama

You can all have a laugh at my expense. It's almost unknown for me to advocate the free market! If you have to work until 4 or later that's your Sunday gone. Like most places Shrewsbury is depressing on a Sunday. But things could be worse - I remember Geneva. It was a ghost town. The family member I stayed with grieved for her youth in north London.

eva land

She may have been a user of Ruislip Lido, Kath.

We had outdoor swimming pools in the 1960s, great fun if you were hardy!

I have to laugh at Andrew Finch and his Daily Mail view of the world.

The precious old days of ladies staying at home looking after family and granny then doing a bit of charity work went with the Thatcher era.

She said that time is money so marry a millionaire and you can make choices, if you don't manage to do that like I did, hard luck.

There is very little protection for the work force now, especially in the care, hospitality and retail sectors.

We have a strange combination of Eastern European people offering car washing and drive through car washers.

What with that and most people having very little garden these days or if they have they usually have a motor mower, how is a chap to fill a Sunday, eh Andrew?

Of course, you,ll be slaving over a hot stove cooking the roast.

Andrew finch

Oh behave eve me and daily mail errrr.

Whats wrong with the family life you seem to ridicule?? it has not gone if it has you should fight to bring it back.

We are in shropshire most have a garden and most have more leisure time now than ever, why not aim too spend that with your family? in quality family time? instead of this silly i want me time clap trap .

We could actually learn a lot from many eu countries and other cultures regarding putting family first, this could be why the poor old uk is a bit dodgy at the moment.


You have already lost my vote. Sunday working is fine, just pass a law that ensures suitable renumerance for the worker. I use to call it double time.

Kat de Gama

My comment was perhaps rashly put. My point was that the horse has bolted. I would love to see a vibrant town centre on a Sunday, but not at the expense of other people's leisure and family and frienship life. Btw Eva, you refer to a model of family life which didn't die under Thatcher. It never existed for working class people.

eva land

[ Btw Eva, you refer to a model of family life which didn’t die under Thatcher.

It never existed for working class people]

You might have read that in a book Kat but I lived in a working class community, suppressed by religion which glorified having as large a number of children as possible what ever the cost to the mother or society.

Sundays were a day of possible fun/ probable boredom and you actually got to see a bit of dad at the W/E, unless of course he was down the working man's club or pub or if aspiring middle class, mowing the lawn, washing the car etc.

It is a different world now and our children would probably loathe the lack of choice of what to do compared to today.

The nastiness, gossip, curtain twitching and bigotry, massive in those days are not as prevalent today, fortunately.

I still cook a roast on the Sunday I finish work in time. This is partly for the benefit of my dad who in his nineties expects it. My mother died 11 years ago so may well be having plenty of me time now, Andrew.

My son will still be sleeping, having to work every W/E on nights and practically having to get on his knees to ever have a W/E off.

Basically it is up to the individual or how they manage to earn a living what they do on a Sunday and judgemental comments regarding what you believe to be a perfect family unit Andrew are part of appears to be your egotistical view of the world.

Andrew finch

Thanks eve , taken over from charles dickens have you?.


LOL - and as for Tiny Tim, he lived happily to a ripe old age.

Kat de Gama

Eva, I respect your experience. Yes, so much of my knowledge of the social world comes from books. My professional life was in law but my friendships have been in sociology. I had a relativelly privileged upbringing but we rarely had family Sundays as my dad was owned by ICI. Looking back, it never seemed strange.... That's a personal rather than political comment.


An interesting take on things from a man who only has to go into 'the office' four days a week and has a holiday allocation that only those already retired could compare with.

Mr Pritchard you have a message

Mork calling Orson, come in Orson


who'd have thought it? Tory Mark Pritchard is against free market capitalism!

Instead of pretending to care about workers who can choose whether to work on Sunday or not, how about doing something for the thousands your loathsome bunch of towel folding, born to rule, never done a real job government are putting out of work altogether.

eva land

[we rarely had family Sundays as my dad was owned by ICI.]

Fathers were very much absent carers in those days, weren't they Kat?

I think that's part of the problem.

As a child you accept your upbringing as being the norm and that can happen even if it is quite dysfunctional or abusive.

If it was a relatively positive experience then you may feel tempted to endeavour to recreate it, as it appears that Andrew Finch favours.

It may be possible to manipulate life so it fits in with your concept of the perfect family in the near perfect confines of a county like Shropshire but you may well find it is not seen the way you hoped by your offspring. When they start to take more control and emerge into their world of adulthood it is very likely not going to be how or what you would choose.

[My point was that the horse has bolted.]

May be so but then that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I don't see that most things were so great in the past and I would see things rather differently in retrospect and as a child anyway.