11 January – as the recession deepens, 335 employees at the Peugeot car factory in Coventry are made redundant, while Ford is looking for up to 1,000 voluntary redundancies at its British factories. Thousands of jobs in the financial services factor are reportedly at threat, as the total UK unemployment figure is currently standing at nearly 1,800,000, but is expected to rise to well over 2,000,000 by the end of the year.
15 March – unemployment is now above 2,000,000 for the first time in two years. The number of British workers employed in the manufacturing industry has fallen below 5,000,000 for the first time since records began.
19 March – Norman Lamont predicts 2% economic contraction for this year.
21 March – Education Secretary Kenneth Clarke announces plans to remove further education and sixth form colleges from local authority control.
28 March – an inquest in Sheffield into the Hillsborough disaster records a verdict of accidental death on the 95 people who died as a result of the tragedy in 1989. Many of the victims' families criticise the verdict in open court, as many of them had been hoping for a verdict of unlawful killing, or an open verdict, and for criminal charges to be brought against the police officers who patrolled the game.
18 April – despite the continuing recession, the Conservatives are still top of the opinion polls as the latest MORI poll puts them two points ahead of Labour on 42%. The Liberal Democrats have trebled their showing in the last fifteen months, now gaining 15% of the vote.
21 May – South Wales, one of the regions hit the hardest by unemployment, receives a boost when the go-ahead is given for Japanese electrical company Sony to build a new factory in Bridgend that will create 1,400 jobs when it opens in 1993.
22 May – nearly six months after the breakthrough in the Channel Tunnel service tunnel, the breakthrough in the North rail tunnel is achieved. On the same day, road links to the British terminal are improved when the final section of the M20 motorway is opened between Maidstone and Ashford, meaning that the Chunnel's unbroken motorway link with London has already been completed an estimated three years before the first trains move between Britain and France.
Labour tops a MORI poll for the first time this year, as they stand six points ahead of the Conservatives on 43%.
June – Kia, the Korean carmaker, begin importing cars to the United Kingdom for the first time; initially it will only import the Pride (a rebadged version of the Japanese Mazda 121), but at least one further model is expected to join it by 1994.
25 June – Nissan, the Japanese carmaker with a plant atSunderland, starts "price wars" by reducing the cost of its cars in order to boost flagging sales brought on by the recession.
Seven months after her resignation as Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher announces that she will stand down as a Member of Parliament at the next general election, which has to be held within the next twelve months.
The final breakthrough in the Channel Tunnel is achieved when the last section of clay in the South rail tunnel is bored away.
8 July – two suspected IRA terrorists shoot their way out of Brixton Prison in London.
11 July – Labour MP, Terry Fields, joins the list of people jailed for refusal to pay the poll tax after he receives a sixty-day prison sentence. He is the first MP to be jailed for refusing to pay the controversial tax which was introduced early last year.
12 August – The Times reports that every job vacancy is being chased by 22 applicants.
16 August – the Bank of England declares that the worst of the current recession is now over.
23 August – growing confidence over economic recovery has helped boost the Conservative government's popularity, as they return to the top of the MORI poll with a two-point lead over Labour putting them on 42%.
12 September – unemployment has hit 2,400,000 – the highest level since the spring of 1988 – completing a 50% rise in just over a year. However, the rate of rising unemployment is slowing down and retail sales are improving.
13 September – further rioting breaks out in Tyneside.
17 September – Neil Kinnock hits out at claims that he is to blame for his party falling behind in the opinion polls, sparking speculation that John Major will call a general election within the next two months.
October – Vauxhall launches the third generation of its popular Astra family hatchback and estate, with saloon and cabriolet variants due next year.
2 October – just over two weeks after Neil Kinnock was damned by a poll as a "liability" to the Labour Party, the leader and his MPs are celebrating after they overtake the Conservatives by two points in the opinion polls.
11 October – John Major outlines his vision of a "classless" Britain at a Conservative Party conference at Blackpool, where his predecessor Margaret Thatcher voices her support for him.
16 October – the ITV franchise auction results are announced and many notable names go off air including Thames Television, TVS, TSW, TV-am and ORACLE Teletext. The changes take effect at midnight GMT on 1 January 1993.
17 October – the smallest monthly rise in unemployment since last November is cited by the government as an "unmistakable" sign that the recession is drawing to a close.
18 October – Labour's hopes of election success are boosted by the latest MORI poll, which shows them six points ahead of the Conservatives on 45%.
5 November – Robert Maxwell, owner of numerous business interests including the Daily Mirror newspaper, is found dead off the coast of Tenerife; his cause of death is unconfirmed, but reports suggest that he has committed suicide.
7 November – Labour retains control of Hemsworth at the by-election, with new MP Derek Enright, while the Liberal Democrats gain Kincardine and Deeside from the Conservatives at another by-election. A third by-election sees the Conservatives lose the Langbaurgh constituency to Labour, with 35-year-old Indian-born candidate Ashok Kumar becoming the new MP.
Freddie Mercury is cremated after a funeral service held at West London Crematorium.
The government announces that joyriders who are found guilty should face a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment as well as unlimited fines and unlimited automatic driving bans. Joyriding has recently surged across Britain, with almost all of those involved being children and teenagers.
1 December – thousands of British shops, including retail giants Asda and Tesco, defy trading laws, and open their doors on a Sunday in a bid to boost trade that has been badly hit by the ongoing recession.
5 December – the Robert Maxwell business empire goes into receivership with debts in excess of £1,000,000,000, exactly one month after Robert Maxwell's death. The Daily Mirror reports that Maxwell had wrongly removed £350,000,000 from its pension fund shortly before he died.
10 December – Ronald Coase wins the Nobel Prize in Economics "for his discovery and clarification of the significance of transaction costs and property rights for the institutional structure and functioning of the economy".
27 December – the last MORI poll of 1991 shows that Labour are six points ahead of the Conservatives with 44% of the vote.
29 December – a quarterly opinion poll shows that Neil Kinnock and Labour are three points ahead of John Major and the Conservatives, sparking hope for Labour that they will win the next general election (which has to be held within five months) or at least the election will result in a hung parliament for the first time since 1974.
Despite the onset of the recession and a sharp fall in new car sales (with fewer than 1,600,000 new cars being sold in 1991 compared to the record of more than 2,300,000 in 1989), Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK's car plant at Sunderland returns a profit for the first time, making £18,400,000 this year. It currently only makes the Primera family saloon and hatchbacks there, but from August next year it will be joined by the new version of the smaller Micra.