John Hayes
John HayesReuters

John Hayes, the Minister of State for Further Education, seems to have lifted entire chunks from Wikipedia for a speech in the House of Commons.

Mr Hayes was in the House of Commons on Friday to represent the government in a debate on a private members bill proposed by MP Nadhim Zahawi.

Mr Zahawi was promoting an extra bank holiday to allow England and Wales to celebrate St David's Day and St George's Day.

Mr Hayes spoke about the history of bank holidays in the debate but seems to have been aided by extensive chunks, with mild paraphrasing, from a Wikipedia article about bank holidays.

Plagiarism can be severely punished in school and higher education. According to Oxford University's Education Committee website: "Intentional or reckless plagiarism may incur severe penalties, including failure of your degree or expulsion from the university."

The website groups plagiarism into several categories: Verbatim quotation without clear acknowledgement, paraphrasing, cutting and pasting from the Internet, collusion, inaccurate citation, failure to acknowledge, using professional agencies, and auto (self) plagiarism.

It is suggested that a researcher wrote the speech, but whoever it was doesn't seem to have followed these rules.

Some of the borrowed segments come from unreferenced Wikipedia description, which means that a source for the information has not been found and could, in theory, be made up.

Here are some comparisons between the speech and the article:

Hayes:

Before 1834, the Bank observed about 33 saints' days and religious festivals as holidays, but in 1834 the number was reduced to just four: 1 May, 1 November or All Saints day, Good Friday and Christmas day. [...] In 1871, the first legislation relating to bank holidays was passed when the banker and politician, Sir John Lubbock, introduced the Bank Holidays Act 1871, which specified the days as holidays.

Wikipedia:

Prior to 1834, the Bank of England observed about thirty-three saints' days and religious festivals as holidays, but in 1834, this was reduced to just four: 1 May (May Day), 1 November (All Saints Day), Good Friday, and Christmas Day. In 1871, the first legislation relating to bank holidays was passed when Liberal Politician and Banker, Sir John Lubbock introduced the Bank Holidays Act 1871 which specified the days in the table set out below.

Wikipedia

These deferred bank holiday days are termed a 'bank holiday in lieu' of the typical anniversary date. In the legislation they are known as 'substitute days'.

Hayes

These deferred bank holidays are termed bank holidays in lieu of the typical anniversary date and in the legislation are known as "substitute days".

Hayes

I understand that Sir John Lubbock was an enthusiastic supporter of national and local cricket, and was firmly of the belief that bank employees should have the opportunity to participate in and attend matches when they were scheduled. Dates of bank holidays are therefore dates when cricket games were traditionally played between villages in the area where Sir John was raised. [...] Nevertheless, people were so glad to be given time off, whether it was to watch cricket or not, they called the first bank holidays St Lubbock's days for a while.

Wikipedia:

Sir John was an enthusiastic supporter of cricket and was firmly of the belief that bank employees should have the opportunity to participate in and attend matches when they were scheduled. Included in the dates of bank holidays are therefore dates when cricket games were traditionally played between the villages in the region where Sir John was raised. The English people were so thankful that they called the first Bank Holidays 'St. Lubbock's Days' for a while.