2008 in the United Kingdom
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|Years in the United Kingdom:||2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011|
|Centuries:||20th century · 21st century · 22nd century|
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|Years:||2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011|
Events from the year 2008 in the United Kingdom.
- 1 Incumbents
- 2 Events
- 3 Publications
- 4 Deaths
- 5 References
- 17 January – The number of people affected by norovirus stomach bug in the UK reached an estimated 3 million.
- 18 January – Last working of Tower Colliery, the last deep mine in the South Wales Valleys (official closure: 25 January).
- 24 January – Peter Hain resigned as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions over irregular donations.
- 31 January
- 18 February – Mohammed Al Fayed told the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales that she and his son Dodi Fayed were both murdered in a conspiracy arranged by the Royal Family, Tony Blair, MI5, MI6 and the British ambassador to France. He claimed that Diana knew that The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Edinburgh were "trying to get rid of her".
- 19 February
- Shannon Matthews, a 9 years old, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was reported missing.
- The inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales heard from Dodi Fayed's former assistant Melissa Henning that Diana, Princess of Wales voiced fears shortly before her death that someone was going to make an attempt on her and Fayed's life in a conspiracy that would be made to look like an accident.
- 21 February – A jury at Ipswich Crown Court found Steve Wright, 49, guilty of murdering five prostitutes during late 2006.
- 22 February
- Northern Rock was nationalised by the British government.
- Steve Wright was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he should never be released.
- Mark Dixie, 37, was found guilty of the September 2005 murder of Surrey model Sally Anne Bowman (18). He was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Old Bailey, where the trial judge recommends that he serves at least 34 years before parole can be considered.
- 26 February
- Levi Bellfield, 38, was found guilty of murdering two women in London in sexually-motivated attacks; the first in 2001, the second in 2004. He received a life sentence with a recommendation that he should never be released.
- The inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales found that MI6 did not keep files on Diana or Dodi Fayed, contradicting claims in conspiracy theories that the deaths were the result of an MI6 conspiracy.
- 27 February – An earthquake with an epicentre in Lincolnshire was felt across most of Britain, with several buildings suffering substantial damage.
- 7 March – The coroner at the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales announced that The Duke of Edinburgh will not be called into court to give evidence over the deaths that Mohammed Al Fayed is accusing him of ordering.
- 12 March – The Budget was unveiled by Alistair Darling as his first in the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer.
- 14 March – Michael Donovan, 39, from Bartley Carr, West Yorkshire, is arrested for the kidnap of the 9-year old, Shannon Matthews.
- 28 March – London Heathrow Terminal 5 opened at Heathrow Airport to British Airways with many problems with the IT system, coupled with insufficient testing and staff training, which caused over 500 flights to be cancelled.
- 30 March – A plane crashed into a row of houses in Farnborough, Hampshire, killing two pilots and three passengers.
- 31 March – The inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales heard that there is "not a shred of evidence" that The Duke of Edinburgh or MI6 ordered her death.
- 2 April – An embryo that was a cross between a human and a cow survived a third straight day after being fertilised at Newcastle University. A director for embryonic stem cell laboratories at the Australian Stem Cell Centre said that the "99 per cent human" embryo could improve research within the field of human diseases. The Catholic Church of England and Wales however said that the creation was "monstrous" and says that the later destruction of it is unethical.
- 6 April – The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 came into force.
- 7 April – The inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales recorded a verdict of accidental death, caused by the heavy drinking, drug abuse and speeding of her chauffeur Henri Paul, who died in the crash along with Diana and Dodi Fayed.
- 8 April – Karen Matthews, the mother of the kidnapped 9-year old girl, Shannon Matthews, was arrested for organising her daughter's kidnap.
- 1 May
- The London mayoral election was held. The Conservative candidate Boris Johnson defeated the incumbent Labour candidate Ken Livingstone.
- The London Assembly election also took place, with Brent and Harrow being the only constituency to change hands. Meanwhile, the British National Party gained a seat, their first outside local councils.
- Local elections were held in England and Wales. The night saw the governing Labour party fall to third place in the popular vote on 24%, behind the Conservatives on 44% and the Liberal Democrats on 25%.
- 11 May – Manchester United secured their tenth Premier League title in 16 years with a 2–0 win at Wigan Athletic on the final day of the league season. Ryan Giggs, who scored one of United's goals, became the first player to win 10 English league titles.
- 15 May – Halifax Town A.F.C., a former Football League side, were expelled from the Conference National with multi million pound debts.
- 17 May – The FA Cup Final took place at Wembley Stadium between Portsmouth and Cardiff City with Portsmouth winning 1–0.
- 20 May – Joey Barton, a player for Newcastle United Football Club, was sentenced to six months in prison after being convicted of assault and affray.
- 21 May – The first all-English European Cup final saw Manchester United beat Chelsea on penalties after a 1–1 draw in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.
- 22 May – Construction work began on the Olympic Stadium being built for the 2012 games.
- 4 June – Gretna F.C., just relegated from the Scottish Premier League, went out of business with debts of £4 million.
- 12 June – Halifax Town, who were in the Blue Square Premier League until their recent expulsion due to financial problems, went out of business after 97 years. They were members of the Football League for most of their history until 2002.
- 18 July – The surge in Conservative support continued as the latest MORI poll put them 20 points ahead of Labour on 47%. With an election due within the next two years and possibly next year, David Cameron was well on course to become the next prime minister of the United Kingdom. With an economic crisis beginning and fears of a recession and mass unemployment rising, it was widely expected that his popularity would continue to grow. Further bad news for the economy shows that it contracted by 0.1% in the second quarter of this year – ending 16 years of unbroken economic growth.
- 22 July – The London Motor Show was held, a highlight being Vauxhall's launch of its new Insignia that replaced the Vectra and was due on sale later in the year.
- 1 August – Barry George was acquitted of the murder of Jill Dando.
- 8–24 August – Great Britain competed at the Olympics in Beijing. The team won 19 gold, 13 silver and 15 bronze medals and finished fourth in the medal table, the best performance for the Great Britain team in a century.
- 19 August – Following legal suppositions at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Frank Chapman ruled that Anthony Hall, charged with the 1961 murder of Jacqueline Thomas should not stand trial for the crime, and that the charge should be stayed because it was "just too long ago", and Hall would not receive a fair and balanced trial.
- 6–17 September – Great Britain competed at the Paralympics in Beijing.
- 14 September – Amid the financial crisis, rise in unemployment and threat of recession, the Labour government's popularity was reported to have fallen dramatically. As recently as January, they had enjoyed a lead of up to 10 points over the Conservatives in the opinion polls, but the latest Ipsos MORI poll put them 16 points behind the Conservative Party which had an 45% approval rating.
- 6 October – Footballer Luke McCormick, a former goalkeeper for Plymouth Argyle, was sentenced to seven years in prison for causing death by dangerous driving.
- 8 October – The government announced a bank rescue package worth some £500 billion as a response to the ongoing financial crisis.
- 18 October – An episode of The Russell Brand Show aired, featuring a series of prank phone calls to the actor Andrew Sachs by comedians Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross, leading to a media row.
- 24 October – The Office for National Statistics revealed that Britain's economy shrunk by 0.5% in the quarter from July to September – the first quarterly detraction since 1992.
- 27 October – Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) replaced new claims for Incapacity Benefit and Income Support on the basis of incapacity to work for most claimants.
- 5 November – Lewis Hamilton became the youngest ever Formula One World Champion.
- 6 November – Labour party won the Glenrothes by-election.
- 4 December
- 16 December – Sean Mercer, 18, was found guilty of murdering 11-year-old Rhys Jones who was shot dead in Croxteth, Liverpool, in August last year. Mercer was sentenced to life imprisonment at the trial judge recommended that he serve at least 22 years before parole can be considered. This is likely to keep Mercer in prison until at least 2030 and the age of 40.
- 18 December
- 19 December – MFI ceased trading, closing all 111 of its stores and leaving its 1,400 workforce redundant.
- 27 December – The first wave of Woolworths store closures saw 200 stores shut their doors.
- Forced marriage protection orders available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland under terms of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007.
- Sales of new cars in Britain defy the deteriorating economic conditions, with well over 2.5 million sales this year compared to barely 2.4 million last year. The Ford Focus enjoys its tenth successive year as Britain's best selling new car.
- 2 January – George MacDonald Fraser, author (born 1925)
- 3 January – Jimmy Stewart, racing driver (born 1931)
- 9 January – John Harvey-Jones, businessman (born 1924)
- 19 January – Morris Maddocks, bishop (born 1928)
- 30 January – Jeremy Beadle, television presenter, writer and producer (born 1948)
- 28 February – Mike Smith, singer (born 1943)
- 8 March – Carol Barnes, newsreader (born 1944)
- 18 March – Anthony Minghella, film director (born 1954)
- 19 March
- 20 March – Brian Wilde, actor (born 1927)
- 23 March – Neil Aspinall, record producer and business executive (born 1941)
- 28 March – Michael Podro, art historian (born 1931)
- 1 April – Jim Finney, football referee (born 1924)
- 7 April – Mark Speight, television presenter (born 1965)
- 25 April – Humphrey Lyttelton, jazz musician and broadcaster (born 1921)
- 16 May – David Mitton, producer and director (born 1939)
- 24 May – Rob Knox, actor (born 1989)
- 28 May – Beryl Cook, artist (born 1926)
- 2 July – Elizabeth Spriggs, actress (born 1929)
- 3 July – Clive Hornby, actor (born 1944)
- 4 July – Charles Wheeler, journalist (born 1923)
- 14 July – Hugh Lloyd, actor (born 1923)
- 11 August – Bill Cotton, producer (born 1928)
- 29 August – Geoffrey Perkins, comedy producer, writer and performer (born 1953)
- 31 August – Ken Campbell, actor and raconteur (born 1941)
- 15 September – Richard Wright, musician (born 1943)
- 3 November – Brooks Mileson, businessman, (born 1947)
- 4 November – Syd Lucas, World War I survivor (born 1900)
- 12 November – Mitch Mitchell, drummer (born 1947)
- 16 November – Reg Varney, actor (born 1916)
- 8 December – Oliver Postgate, animator, puppeteer and writer (born 1925)
- 14 December – Kathy Staff, actress (born 1928)
- 24 December – Harold Pinter, playwright (born 1930)
- "Coal mine closes with celebration". BBC News. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- "Hain quits jobs 'to clear name'". BBC News. 24 January 2008. Archived from the original on 27 January 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2008.
- "MPs suspend Conway from Commons". BBC News. 31 January 2008. Archived from the original on 3 February 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
- McGuinness, Ross (16 March 2009). "Metro". p. 30.
- BBC NEWS | UK | Diana murdered, Al Fayed claims
- BBC NEWS | UK | Diana 'feared royal murder plot'
- "Wright guilty of Suffolk murders". BBC News. 21 February 2008. Archived from the original on 25 February 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2008.
- "Suffolk killer will die in prison". BBC News. 22 February 2008. Archived from the original on 7 April 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2008.
- "Man gets life for model's murder". BBC News. 22 February 2008. Archived from the original on 25 February 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2008.
- BBC NEWS | UK | MI6 'did not keep files on Diana'
- BBC NEWS | UK | Diana inquest not to call Philip
- "British Airways reveals what went wrong with Terminal 5". Computer Weekly. 14 May 2008. Archived from the original on 23 July 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2008.
- "No Survivors After Jet Slams into Homes". Retrieved 30 March 2008.
- BBC NEWS | UK | Duke 'did not order Diana death'
- "Cow-human cross embryo lives three days". Archived from the original on 2008-04-05.
- "Understanding the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007" (PDF). Ministry of Justice. Archived from the original on 25 October 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2007.
- BBC NEWS | UK | Princess Di 'unlawfully killed'
- "London Elects". Archived from the original on 11 January 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
- "Manchester United retain title". ITV. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
- Halifax Town's expulsion from Football Conference set to be confirmed: Altrincham handed reprieve – Local – Halifax Courier
- "Joey Barton is jailed for assault". BBC News. 20 May 2008. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
- "Man Utd earn dramatic Euro glory". BBC News. 22 May 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
- "Olympic stadium work starts early". BBC News. 22 May 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
- Murray, Ewan (4 June 2008). "Gretna finally go to the wall". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 February 2011.
- "Halifax fail with demotion appeal". BBC News. 12 June 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.
- "UK recovery 'to take five years'". BBC News. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "London show: Vauxhall Insignia". Autocar. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
- "GB Olympians power to new heights". BBC Sport. 19 August 2008. Archived from the original on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 19 August 2008.
- "Unsolved murder was 'too long ago' for killer to be tried". Birmingham Post (Trinity Mirror). 19 August 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
- Ipsos MORI | Trend | Voting Intention in Great Britain: 1976–present Archived 21 February 2011 at WebCite
- Martin, Nicole (8 June 2006). "St Hilda's to end 113-year ban on male students". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- Britten, Nick (6 October 2008). "Plymouth goalkeeper Luke McCormick jailed for killing boys in drunken crash". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
- "Timeline: Russell Brand prank calls". BBC News. 3 April 2009. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
- "Recession fear as economy shrinks". BBC News. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Employment and Support Allowance". Department for Work and Pensions. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
- Benson, Andrew (2 November 2008). "Last-gasp Hamilton takes F1 crown". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 4 November 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2008.
- "Labour victorious in Glenrothes". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 6 November 2008. Archived from the original on 6 November 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2008.
- "Controversial 'Lapland New Forest' Christmas attraction closes". The Daily Telegraph (London). 4 December 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- Jenkins, Russell (16 December 2008). "Sean Mercer guilty of murdering Rhys Jones". The Times (London). Retrieved 18 March 2009.
- "Woolworths to close in January". BBC News. 17 December 2008. Archived from the original on 26 February 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
- "Man admits Rachel Nickell killing". BBC News. 18 December 2008. Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
- "Furniture chain MFI closes down". BBC News. 19 December 2008. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
- Woolworths Stores Begin To Close After Going Into Administration | Business | Sky News