2009 in the United Kingdom

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2009 in the United Kingdom:
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Individual countries of the United Kingdom
England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales
Sport, Television and music

Events from the year 2009 in the United Kingdom.

Incumbents[edit]

Events[edit]

January[edit]

February[edit]

March[edit]

Gordon Brown and President Barack Obama in the White House, 3 March 2009

April[edit]

Magnified image of the H1NI flu virus, which resulted in a pandemic.
The world leaders present at the G20 London Summit.
  • April – The economy continues to decline dramatically, with statistics showing a 2.4% rate of contraction for the first quarter of this year.
  • 1 April
  • 2 April – The 2009 G-20 London summit is held in response to the ongoing global financial crisis. The summit ends in the leaders announcing various measures, including a $1.1 trillion investment in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.[85]
  • 8 April – Analogue television signals begin to be switched off in the Westcountry Television area as part of the UK's ongoing process of digital switchover.[86]
  • 11 April – Gordon Brown's special adviser Damian McBride resigns his position after it emerges that he and another prominent Labour Party operative, blogger Derek Draper, had exchanged a series of emails in which they discussed plans to smear Conservative Party politicians with a series of false stories about their private lives.[87]
  • 22 April
    • Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivers the government's budget to the House of Commons. It includes the introduction of a 50% tax rate for those earning in excess of £150,000 and the announcement that Britain's debt level will rise to 79% of GDP by 2013.[88]
    • Figures show unemployment has now risen to more than 2,100,000, the highest level seen under the current government.[89]
  • 27 April – 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak: The outbreak of Swine Flu originating in Mexico spreads to the UK, with 2 cases confirmed in Scotland.
  • 29 April
    • Three cases of Swine Flu are confirmed in England. One adult is diagnosed in Redditch, another in South London, whilst a 12-year-old girl is diagnosed in Torbay.[90] Meanwhile, the Scottish Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon announces that 15 suspected cases in Scotland are negative.[91]
    • The government is defeated on an opposition day motion in the House of Commons by 267 votes to 246 over their policy on Gurkha settlement rights.[92]
  • 30 April
    • A further three cases of swine flu are confirmed by the Department of Health. Two of the cases are located in London, with the third being in Newcastle.[93]
    • The British Military's operation in Iraq officially ends after six years of combat. The Basra Province is handed over to American forces in a special ceremony, ahead of the withdrawal of British troops in the summer.[94]

May[edit]

June[edit]

The newly elected Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.

July[edit]

Harry Patch, the last British Army veteran of World War I, who died on 25 July aged 111.
Henry Allingham, the oldest man in the world and one of the last surviving veterans of World War I, who died on 18 July aged 113.

August[edit]

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, who made the decision to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds.

September[edit]

October[edit]

A crowd protests BNP Leader Nick Griffin's appearance on the BBC show Question Time.
  • 1 October – The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom officially opens, taking over various powers, including those of the Law Lords.[161]
  • 6 October – Shadow Chancellor George Osborne unveils plans for cutting national debt if the Conservatives win the forthcoming general election. These include increasing the retirement age for men to 66 from 2016, a decade sooner than planned by the current Labour government, as well as increasing the retirement age for women to 65 by 2020.[162]
  • 8 October – Postal workers vote three to one in favour of taking strike action over job security and working conditions.[163]
  • 12 October –
    • The government announces a £16bn assets sale in an attempt to raise funds to reduce the budget deficit. The Dartford Crossing and the state-owned bookmaker The Tote will be included in the sale.[164]
    • The independent audit of MPs expenses chaired by Sir Thomas Legg is completed. Among those who must repay claimed expenses is Prime Minister Gordon Brown who claimed £12,415 for cleaning and gardening costs.[165]
    • Reports state that United Kingdom has the worst quality of life in Europe, due to long hours, bad weather, low life expectancy and the high price of many consumer goods (as a result of the recession).[166]
    • The Evening Standard becomes a free newspaper in central London.[167]
  • 16 October – A bomb detonates under the car belonging to a Police officer's wife in the large Unionist area of East Belfast. The woman was taken to hospital with minor injuries as the bomb was set to go off in the passenger side where her husband usually sits but was not present that day. The Real IRA later claim responsibility[168]
  • 18 October – Great Britain's Jenson Button wins the 2009 Formula One Drivers' Championship after finishing in fifth place at the Brazilian Grand Prix.[169] British based team Brawn GP, who Button drives for, secures the Constructors' Championship at the same race, in their debut season.[170]
  • 20 October – The latest MORI poll shows Conservative support at 43% – 17 points ahead of Labour. This showing, if translated into votes at an election, would see the Tories form the next government.[171]
  • 22 October – British National Party leader Nick Griffin makes a controversial first appearance on the BBC One political debate programme Question Time.[172] He later announces his intention to make a formal complaint to the BBC for the way he believed he was treated by the programme's audience, who he described as a "lynch mob" and the show's other guests.[173]
  • 25 October – It is reported that the Crown Office of Scotland has emailed relatives of British victims of the Lockerbie Disaster to inform them that a police review of the case has started now that "appeal proceedings" have ended.[174]

November[edit]

  • 4 November –
    • Five British soldiers are shot dead in Afghanistan's Helmand Province while mentoring and training Afghan police. Six other British servicemen and two Aghan police are also injured in the attack which the UK military blames on a "rogue" policeman.[175]
    • General Motors, the owner of British carmaker Vauxhall and its continental Opel partner, makes a surprise decision not to sell the carmaker to Canadian organisation Magna.
    • Granada Television begins the process of digital switchover.[176]
  • 12 November – The Glasgow North East by-election is held following the resignation of MP and former Speaker Michael Martin. It is won by Labour's Willie Bain with a majority of 8,111.[177]
  • 14 November – Severe gales and heavy rain from an Alantic storm cause floods and damage across southern England and Wales.[178]
  • 19 November – Highest ever UK 24-hour rainfall total, 314.4 mm, recorded at Seathwaite Farm, Cumbria.[179]
  • 20 November – Many towns and villages in Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway are flooded following several days of heavy rain. Three bridges collapse, one of them leading to the death of a police officer, who was standing on the bridge when it collapsed.[180]
  • 22 November – The latest MORI poll shows that the Conservatives are just six points ahead of Labour, their narrowest lead for two years, with 37% of the vote, which, if translated into election results, would force a hung parliament. Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has suggested his party would support the Tories if the election resulted in no overall majority.[181][182]

December[edit]

  • 2 December – The Winter Hill transmitter has its remaining analogue signals turned off, completing the digital switchover process in the Granada Television region.[176]
  • 7 December – The Ministry of Defence announces the death in Afghanistan of a soldier from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, taking the total number of British troops killed there in 2009 to 100[183] and the total number of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan since the conflict began (October 2001) to 237.[183]
  • 11 December – New Vauxhall Astra hits showrooms after its worldwide debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
  • 14 December – Cabin crew at British Airways vote overwhelmingly in favour of a planned 12 days of strike action over Christmas and the New Year in a dispute over job cuts and changes to staff contracts.[184] On 17 December the High Court rules that Unite, the representing trade union, had not correctly balloted its members on the strike action, meaning that the strikes could not go ahead.[185]
  • 16 December –
    • Scotland's largest airline, Flyglobespan, goes into administration.[186]
    • The latest unemployment figures show that UK unemployment is slowing, but now stands at the highest figure for 15 years – almost 2.5 million, equating to 8% of the workforce. The number of people claiming unemployment benefit, however, fell to 1.63 million in October, the first fall for nearly two years. Youth unemployment has increased to 952,000 – the highest level since records began 17 years ago.[187]
    • ITV closes its news and information service on Teletext, leaving the ITV channel(s) without such a service for the first time in 35 years.[188]
    • The England 2018 FIFA World Cup bidding team announce the 12 cities which will be part of their campaign to host the tournament. Wembley Stadium, Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, Manchester United's Old Trafford and Liverpool's Anfield or proposed new stadium are among the venues, as is the Stadium:mk in Milton Keynes which only opened in 2007.[189]
  • 18 December –
  • 20 December – The last MORI poll of the decade shows the Tories 17 points ahead of Labour on 43%, pointing towards a landslide and their first election win since 1992.[192]
  • 21 December – The leaders of the three main UK political parties agree to stage the first ever live televised election debates ahead of the 2010 general election.[193]
  • 29 December – Akmal Shaikh becomes the first EU native to be executed in China in 50 years. Gordon Brown releases a statement indicating that he is appalled.[194][195]
  • 30 December –
    • British hostage Peter Moore is released alive in Iraq following over two and a half years of captivity in Iraq and Iran.[196]
    • Three climbers are killed following three large avalanches in Scotland.[197][198]

Undated[edit]

  • More than 80% of the UK population (some 50 million people) now has internet access.

Publications[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

January[edit]

  • 9 January – Dave Dee, singer/songwriter (b. 1941)
  • 10 January – Rob Gauntlett, record-breaking climber (b. 1987)
  • 11 January – David Vine, television presenter (b. 1935)
  • 13 January – Dai Llewellyn, socialite (b. 1946)
  • 16 January – Sir John Mortimer, barrister, author and dramatist (b. 1923)
  • 18 January – Tony Hart, artist and television presenter (b. 1925)
  • 24 January – Reg Gutteridge, boxing commentator (b. 1924)
  • 24 January – Diane Holland, actress (b. 1930)
  • 29 January – John Martyn, singer/songwriter (b. 1948)
  • 29 January – Bill Frindall, cricket statistician (b. 1939)

February[edit]

March[edit]

April[edit]

May[edit]

June[edit]

July[edit]

August[edit]

  • 29 August – Simon Dee, television interviewer and radio disc jockey (b. 1935)

September[edit]

October[edit]

November[edit]

December[edit]

References[edit]

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