1994 in the United Kingdom
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|1994 in the United Kingdom:|
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Events from the year 1994 in the United Kingdom.
- 4 January – Following the expulsion of the British ambassador from Sudan, the Foreign Office orders the Sudanese ambassador to leave Britain.
- 5 January – Brian Johnston, the BBC cricket commentator, dies aged 81.
- 8 January – Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean win the British ice-dancing championship at the Sheffield Arena
- 10 January – Two government ministers resign: Lord Caithness following the suicide of his wife, and Tim Yeo following the revalation that he fathered a child with Conservative councillor Julia Stent.
- 14 January – The Duchess of Kent joins the Roman Catholic Church, the first member of the Royal Family to convert to Catholicism for more than 300 years.
- 18 January – The Prince of Wales retires from competitive polo at the age of 45.
- 20 January
- 31 January – British Aerospace sells its 80% stake in Rover to BMW, leaving Britain without an independent volume carmaker. It is envisaged that the new Rover Group will produce more than 1million cars per year worldwide, and will be Europe's seventh largest carmaker.
- 1 February – John Smith (Labour Party leader) strongly criticises the sale of the Rover Group, saying that it only satisfied British Aerospace's short-term need for cash. In contrast, Prime Minister John Major backs the takeover as giving the Rover Group excellent prospects for export markets and investment.
- 4 February – British Coal confirms the closure of four more pits, a move which will claim some 3,000 jobs.
- 7 February – Stephen Milligan, Conservative MP for Eastleigh in Hampshire, is found dead at his home in Chiswick, West London. Police describe his death as "suspicious"
- 10 February – Three men are jailed in connection with the IRA bombings of Warrington gasworks 11 months ago. Pairic MacFhloinn is jailed for 35 years, Denis Kinsella for 25 years and John Kinsella for 20 years.
- 11 February – Forensic tests reveal that MP Stephen Milligan died of asphyxiation and that his death was probably the result of an auto-erotic sex practice.
- 12–27 February – Great Britain and Northern Ireland compete at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, and win 2 bronze medals.
- 21 February – Honda sells its 20% stake of the Rover Group, allowing BMW to take full control. This marks the end of the 13-year venture between the two carmakers, although the Honda-based Rover 400 will still go into production next year, becoming the seventh and final product of the venture.
- 24 February – Police in Gloucester begin excavations at 25 Cromwell Street, the home of 52-year-old builder Fred West.
- April – Economic growth for the first quarter of this year exceeded 1% – the highest for five years.
- 1 April – Women's Royal Air Force fully merged into Royal Air Force.
- 20 April – Unemployment has fallen to just over 2,500,000 – the lowest level in two years – as the economy continues to make a good recovery from the recession that ended a year ago.
- 28 April – Rosemary West, 40-year-old wife of suspected serial killer Fred West, is charged with three of the murders her husband stands accused of.
- 29 April – An opinion poll shows that Conservative support has fallen to 26% – their worst showing in any major opinion poll since coming to power 15 years ago.
- 5 May – Local council elections see the Conservatives lose 429 seats and control of 18 councils.
- 6 May – The Channel Tunnel, a 51 km (32 mi) long rail tunnel beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover, officially opened.
- 9 May – Release of Scottish group Wet Wet Wet's cover of the song Love Is All Around (1967), as featured in Four Weddings and a Funeral. From 29 May it will spend 15 consecutive weeks at number one in the UK Singles Chart, the longest spell ever attained by a British act.
- 12 May – John Smith (Labour Party leader) dies suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack in London.
- 13 May – Film Four Weddings and a Funeral released in the UK.
- 19 May – Robert Black, who was jailed for life four years ago for abducting a seven-year-old girl in the Scottish Borders, is found guilty of murdering three girls (Caroline Hogg, Susan Maxwell and Sarah Harper) who were killed during the 1980s and sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommended minimum term of 35 years. This means that Black, now aged 47, is set to remain in prison until at least 2029 and the age of 82.
- 25 May – The Camelot Group consortium wins the contract to run the UK's first National Lottery.
- 31 May – Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have dinner at the Granita restaurant in Islington and allegedly make a deal on who will become the leader of the Labour Party, and ultimately, the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
- 2 June – Chinook crash on Mull of Kintyre: An RAF Chinook helicopter carrying more than twenty leading intelligence experts crashes on the Mull of Kintyre, killing everyone on board.
- 7 June – TV playwright Dennis Potter, 59, dies after a long battle against cancer. Potter's wife Margaret died only a week ago from the same illness.
- 9 June – David Chidgey wins the Eastleigh seat for the Liberal Democrats in the by-election sparked by Stephen Milligan's death; the Tory majority now stands at 15 seats compared with the 21-seat majority they gained at the general election two years ago.
- 13 June – The Conservatives suffer their worst election results this century, winning a mere 18 out of 87 of the nation's seats in the European parliament elections. The resurgent Labour Party, still without a leader as the search for a successor to the late John Smith continues, wins 62 seats.
- 16 June – Sir Norman Fowler resigns as chairman of the Conservative Party.
- 15 June – Britain's railways grind to a virtual standstill with a strike by more than 4,000 signalling staff.
- July – The strong economic recovery continues as the economy was reported to have grown by 1.4% during the second quarter of this year.
- 14 July – The Queen opens the new £150million headquarters of MI6 on the banks of the River Thames in London.
- 21 July – Tony Blair wins the Labour Party leadership election defeating John Prescott and Margaret Beckett.
- 26 July – A bomb explodes outside the Israeli Embassy, injuring 14 people.
- 18 August – The first MORI poll since Tony Blair became Labour Party leader gives him a massive boost in his ambition to become prime minister as his party scores at 56% and has a 33-point lead over the Conservatives, who are now just five points ahead of the Liberal Democrats.
- 20 August – Huddersfield Town move into their new all-seater Alfred McAlpine Stadium, which has an initial capacity of 16,000 and will rise to 20,000 later this year on the completion of a third stand; a fourth stand is also planned and would take the capacity to around 25,000.
- 26 August – Sunday Trading Act 1994 (5 July) comes into full effect, permitting retailers to trade on Sundays, though restricting opening times of larger stores to a maximum of six hours between 10 am and 6 pm. This will have a significant social effect on shopping habits.
- 31 August – The Provisional Irish Republican Army declares a ceasefire.
- October – Rover Group launches the Rover 100 – a facelifted version of the Metro.
- 10 October – With the economic recovery continuing at a strong rate, unemployment is now falling at twice the rate in Conservative constituencies than in Labour ones, giving the Conservatives hope that they could win the next general election (which has to be held by May 1997) despite Labour having led the way in the opinion polls for virtually all of the two-and-a-half years since the last election.
- 20 October – Cash-for-questions affair: The Guardian newspaper reports that two Conservative MPs, Neil Hamilton and Tim Smith, took bribes from Harrods chief Mohamed Al-Fayed to ask questions in the House of Commons.
- 30 October – Korean industrial giant Daewoo announces that it will start selling cars in Britain next year, and will be sold directly to customers through its own sales organisation rather than a traditional dealer network.
- 31 October – The Duke of Edinburgh attends a ceremony in Israel where his late mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg is honoured as "Righteous among the Nations" for sheltering Jewish families from the Nazis in Athens, during World War II.
- 3 November – Criminal Justice and Public Order Act receives Royal Assent. This changes the right to silence of an accused person, allowing for inferences to be drawn from their silence; increases police powers of "Stop and search" and gives them greater rights to take and retain intimate body samples; changes the law relating to collective trespass to land, criminalisng some previously civil offences; tightens the law in some areas relating to obscenity, pornography and sexual offences; and lowers the age of consent for male homosexual acts from twenty-one years to eighteen, while setting the age for female acts at sixteen, for the first time in English law recognising the existence of lesbianism.
- 10 November – BBC1 television broadcasts the first episode of sitcom The Vicar of Dibley, created by Richard Curtis for its lead actress, Dawn French.
- 16 November – Unemployment has fallen to under 2,500,000 for the first time since the end of 1991.
- 19 November – The first UK National Lottery draw takes place.
- December – Rover Group ends production of its long-running Maestro and Montego ranges, which were strong sellers during the 1980s but in recent years had been produced in lower volumes due to the success of models like the Rover 200.
- 9 December – First meeting between the British government and Sinn Féin in more than 70 years.
- 15 December – Tony Blair continues to enjoy dominance in the opinion polls as the latest MORI poll shows Labour support at an unprecedented 61%, putting them a massive 39 points ahead of the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats have suffered a slump in popularity, gained just 13% of the vote in this poll compared to 20% a year ago. Ian Pearson wins the Dudley West by-election for Labour with nearly 70% of the votes, becoming the new MP for the constituency which was left vacant with the death of Conservative John Blackburn two months ago. The Tory majority has now fallen to 13 seats.
- 28 December – Labour Party leader Tony Blair claims that 40% of the workforce have been unemployed at some time since 1989, although there has never been more than 10.6% of the workforce out of work at the same time since then.
- Deregulation of the British milk market following the abolition of most functions of the Milk Marketing Board under terms of the Agriculture Act 1993.
- Iain M. Banks' novel Feersum Endjinn.
- Edwina Currie's novel A Parliamentary Affair.
- James Kelman's novel How late it was, how late.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels Soul Music and Interesting Times.
- Sexual Behaviour in Britain: the national survey of sexual attitudes and lifestyles by Kaye Wellings et al.
- 21 January – Laura Robson, Australian-born tennis player
- 1 February - Harry Styles member of One Direction
- 21 May – Tom Daley, diver
- 6 August - Columbus Taylor, son of Lady Helen Taylor
- 24 September - Alex Mellor, rugby league player
- 11 November – Ellie Simmons, paralympic swimmer
- 30 November – William Melling, Actor
- 15 December – Flora Ogilvy, granddaughter of Princess Alexandra
- 5 January – Brian Johnston, BBC cricket commentator (born 1912)
- 20 January – Matt Busby, football player and manager (born 1909)
- 23 January – Brian Redhead, journalist and broadcaster (born 1929)
- 19 February – Derek Jarman, film director, stage designer, artist, and writer (born 1942)
- 29 March – Bill Travers, actor and co-founder of the Born Free Foundation (born 1922)
- 15 April – John Curry, figure skater (born 1949)
- 8 May – Lady Victoria Wemyss, last surviving godchild of Queen Victoria (born 1890)
- 12 May – John Smith, Leader of the Labour Party, and Leader of the Opposition (born 1938)
- 7 June – Dennis Potter, writer (born 1935)
- 21 July – John Ernest, American constructivist artist (born 1922)
- 29 July – Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (born 1910)
- 11 August – Peter Cushing, actor (born 1913)
- 18 August – Richard Laurence Millington Synge, chemist and Nobel Prize winner (born 1914)
- 29 August – Marea Hartman, athletics administrator (born 1920)
- 2 September – Roy Castle, actor and entertainer (born 1932)
- 3 September – Billy Wright, former footballer and football manager (born 1924)
- 11 September – Jessica Tandy, actress (born 1909)
- 16 September – Johnny Berry, former footballer (born 1926)
- 14 November – Tom Villard, actor (born 1953)
- 16 November – Doris Speed, actress (born 1899)
- 27 December – Fanny Cradock, cookery writer (born 1909)
- "Duchess of Kent joins Catholic church". BBC News. 14 January 1994. Archived from the original on 13 January 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
- "Poll tracker: Interactive guide to the opinion polls". BBC News. 29 September 2009. Archived from the original on 17 December 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
- "MPs condemn sale of Rover". BBC News. 1 February 1994. Archived from the original on 11 January 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
- "Police probe MP's suspicious death". BBC News. 8 February 1994. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
- "1994: Police probe MP's suspicious death". BBC News. 8 February 1994. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Dadds, Kimberley (19 July 2007). "The UK's longest-running chart toppers". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 10 November 2010. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
- "Camelot wins UK lottery race". BBC News. 25 May 1994. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
- "MI5 officers killed in helicopter crash". BBC News. 2 June 1994. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
- "UK recovery 'to take five years'". BBC News. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Labour chooses Blair". BBC News. 21 July 1994. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
- "Israel's London embassy bombed". BBC News. 26 July 1994. Archived from the original on 29 February 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
- "Galpharm Stadium - Huddersfield".
- "IRA declares 'complete' ceasefire". BBC News. 31 August 1994. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
- Hencke, David (20 October 1994). "Tory MPs were paid to plant questions says Harrods chief". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 28 January 2008.
- "How the Government's Majority Disappeared (Dudley West)". BBC News. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
- Pepper, Terence (12 May 1994). "Obituary: Lady Victoria Wemyss". The Independent (London). Retrieved 13 October 2010.