The High Court rules that the identities and whereabouts of the two killers of James Bulger are to be kept secret for the rest of their lives. Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, both now aged 19, are expected to be released from custody later this year.
12 January – Marie Therese Kouao and Carl Manning are sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Kouao's niece Victoria Climbié, who died in 2000 after suffering horrific abuse and neglect at the hands of the couple in their London home. Victoria (aged eight) had been living with the pair since her parents sent her to England to receive a good education.
25 January – After briefly slipping behind the Conservatives in an opinion poll four months ago, Labour are looking all set for victory in the forthcoming general election as they score 49% in the latest MORI poll and open up a 20-point lead over their rivals.
31 January – The Scottish Court in the Netherlands convicts a Libyan and acquits another for their part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed in Lockerbie in 1988. Al Amin Khalifah Fhimah (aged 44) is cleared, but Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed Al Megrahi is found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommended minimum term of 20 years.
8 March – The wreckage of Donald Campbell's speedboat Bluebird K7 is raised from the bottom of Coniston Water in Cumbria, 34 years after Campbell was killed in an attempt to break the world water speed record.
15 March – Donald Campbell's body is recovered from Lake Coniston, 34 years after he died in an attempt to break the land water speed record.
18 March – Claire Marsh (aged 18) becomes the youngest woman in Britain to be convicted of rape after pinning down a woman who was raped by a pair of teenagers in west London. She is sentenced to seven years in prison, while her accomplices (aged 15 and 18) are jailed for five years.
5 April – Perry Wacker, a Dutch lorry driver, is jailed for 14 years for the manslaughter of 58 Chinese illegal immigrants who were found suffocated in his lorry at Dover ferry port in June last year.
15 April – Manchester United win the FA Premier League title for the third season in succession, and the seventh time in nine seasons.
7 June – General Election: Labour Party attains a second successive General Election landslide victory. Among the new entrants to parliament is 34-year-old Tory David Cameron who retains the Witney seat in Oxfordshire for the party. Among the retirements is Edward Heath, the former Conservative prime minister, who at 84 was the oldest member of the last parliament and also its longest serving member having first being elected to parliament in 1950.
19 July – Politician and novelist Jeffrey Archer is sentenced to four years in prison for perjury and perverting the course of justice.
20 July – Rioting breaks out in Brixton, London, following the fatal shooting Derek Bennett, a 29-year-old black man, by armed police in the area. 27 people are arrested and three police officers are injured.
4 August – Oxford United move into their new 12,500-seat Kassam Stadium near the city's Blackbird Leys estate. Work on the stadium had started in 1996 but halted the following year due to the club's financial problems. The stadium will initially have three stands but a fourth stand could be built in the future to take the capacity to 15,000.
11 September terrorist attacks: by al-Qaeda upon the United States of America. 67 UK nationals perish in the attacks, the largest loss of life from any nation other than the United States where the attacks take place.
Prime Minister Tony Blair cancels a speech he was due to give to the TUC, and pledges to "stand shoulder to shoulder" with the United States.
The Queen orders the Changing of the Guard ceremony to be paused for a two-minute silence, followed by the playing of the American national anthem, in tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks two days earlier.
11 December – The Post Office announces that up to 30,000 postal workers could be made redundant over the next 18 months as part of a £1.2billion cost-cutting package.
12 December – Roy Whiting is found guilty at Lewes Crown Court of the murder of Sarah Payne, who was found dead near Pulborough, West Sussex, in July last year. It is then revealed that Whiting already had a conviction for abducting and molesting an eight-year-old girl in 1995. The trial judge sentences Whiting, a 42-year-old former mechanic, to life imprisonment and says that it is a rare case in which he would recommend to the appropriate authorities that life should mean life. It is only the 24th time that such a recommendation has been made in British legal history.
The proportion of people living in owner-occupied homes in England reaches an all-time peak of 72.5%.
A record of nearly 2.5 million new cars are sold in Britain this year, with the Ford Focus being Britain's best selling car for the third year in a row. Vauxhall maintains its second place behind Ford for sales, while the likes of Citroen, Peugeot, Renault and Volkswagen also enjoy strong sales. MG Rover sales, however, fall to a disappointing total of below 100,000.