1996 in the United Kingdom
|1996 in the United Kingdom:|
|1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998|
|Individual countries of the United Kingdom|
|England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales|
|Sport, Television and music|
Events from the year 1996 in the United Kingdom.
This year was notable for the Dunblane Massacre, boyband Take That splitting up, the divorce of The Duke and Duchess of York, the divorce of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the birth of Dolly the sheep, and the breakthrough of the Spice Girls.
- 1 Incumbents
- 2 Events
- 3 Publications
- 4 Births
- 5 Deaths
- 6 References
- 7 See also
- 10 January – Terry Venables announces that he will resign as manager of the England national football team after this summer's European Championships, which will be hosted in England.
- 13 January – NUM leader Arthur Scargill announces that he is defecting from the Labour Party to set up his own Socialist Labour Party.
- 19 January
- 23 to 26 January – Much of Britain is struck with sub zero temperatures and snow storms. Schools and transport is affected.
- 4 February – First two passenger train operating companies begin operation of their service franchises as part of the privatisation of British Rail: South West Trains (part of the Stagecoach Group) and Great Western Trains (management buyout).
- 5 February – The first genetically modified food products go on sale in the UK.
- 9 February
- A large bomb explodes in the London Docklands area, near to South Quay DLR station, injures around 40 people. The bomb was the responsibility of the IRA, and marks the end of a 17-month ceasefire.
- The Parole Board announces that Moors Murderer Myra Hindley could soon be moved to an open prison. Hindley, 53 and in her 30th year of imprisonment, is currently being held at Durham Prison, but if Home Secretary Michael Howard backs the Parole Board's recommendation, Hindley could soon be transferred to a prison with a more relaxed regime.
- 10 February – The bodies of two men are discovered at Canary Wharf, the only fatalities of the IRA bombing – of which it was initially believed there were no fatalities.
- 13 February – Take That, the most successful British band so far this decade, announce that they are splitting up.
- 15 February – A report on the Arms-to-Iraq affair is critical of government ministers.
- 18 February – A bomb explodes on a bus in Central London, killing the IRA bomber transporting the device, and injuring several people.
- 19/20 February – Approximately 1000 passengers are trapped in the Channel Tunnel when two Eurostar trains break down due to electronic failures caused by snow and ice.
- 22 February – Conservative MP Peter Thurnham announces his resignation from Parliament, reducing the party's majority to just 2 seats. Resignations and by-election defeats have cost the Conservatives 19 seats since the general election just under four years ago.
- 28 February
- The Princess of Wales agrees to give The Prince of Wales a divorce, more than three years after separating.
- Sandra Gregory, a British teacher, is sentenced to 25 years in prison in Thailand for drug smuggling, three years after her arrest at Bangkok airport. Her co-accused, Robert Lock, is cleared of the same charge and returns home.
- 13 March – The Dunblane massacre – A gunman kills 16 children, their teacher and himself at a primary school in Dunblane, Stirling. The killer, who wounded 13 other children and another teacher, is quickly identified as 43-year-old former scout leader Thomas Hamilton. It is the worst killing spree in Britain since the Hungerford massacre in August 1987.
- 20 March – Home Secretary Michael Howard unveils plans to give courts the power to hand down heavier prison sentences, including sending burglars to prison for at least three years after a third offence and all drugs to prison for at least six years. The plans spark controversy, with some critics pointing out that it will increase the prison population by at least 20%.
- 22 March – The European Union prohibits exports of British beef as a result of the BSE crisis.
- 29 March – Three British soldiers, all in their twenties, are sentenced to life imprisonment in Cyprus for the abduction, attempted rape and manslaughter of Danish woman Louise Jensen. The three soldiers are Allan Ford from Birmingham, Justin Fowler from Falmouth and Jeffrey Pernell from Oldbury.
- 1 April – The Local Government etc. (Scotland) and Local Government (Wales) Acts of 1994 come into effect, creating new unitary authorities.
- 16 April – South East Staffordshire by-election: In a 22-point swing, Labour wins the Staffordshire South East seat from the Conservatives in a by-election, cutting the government's majority to three seats almost exactly four years after they began the current term of parliament with a 21-seat majority.
- 17 April – The Duke and Duchess of York are divorced after ten years of marriage and four years after their separation.
- 2 May –
- – The Conservatives lose 578 seats in local council elections, while Labour increases its total number of councilors nationally to almost 11,000.
- – The Football Association announces that Glenn Hoddle, the current Chelsea manager, will succeed Terry Venables as manager of the England national football team after next month's European Championships, which England is hosting for the first time.
- 5 May - Manchester United win the FA Premier League title for the third time in four seasons.
- 11 May – Manchester United win the FA Cup for a record ninth time by beating Liverpool 1-0 and also become the first team to win the double of the league title and FA Cup twice.
- 17 May – Timothy Morss and Brett Tyler are found guilty of murdering nine-year-old Daniel Handley, who disappeared near his London home in October 1994 and whose body was found near Bristol five months later. The Old Bailey trial judge sentences them to life imprisonment and recommends that neither of them are ever released.
- 30 May
- The Duke and Duchess of York complete their divorce proceedings. The former Duchess loses the style HRH and becomes Sarah, Duchess of York.
- Sara Thornton, a Warwickshire woman who was jailed for life in 1990 for the murder of her abusive husband Malcolm the previous year, is released from prison after the Court of Appeal reduces her conviction to manslaughter.
- 8 June – The European Football Championships begin in England, with the host nation drawing 1–1 with Switzerland in the opening game.
- 13 June - The parliament of Guernsey, Channel Islands, votes to legalize abortion 86 years after it was made illegal.
- 15 June – A massive IRA bomb explodes in Manchester city centre, devastating the city's retail district.
- 19 June – The government selects the Greenwich Peninsula site on the banks of the River Thames as the location for the Millennium Dome exhibition which is set to open for the year 2000.
- 21 June – The latest MORI poll shows the Conservatives on 31%, their best showing for three years, but they are still 21 points behind Labour with just under a year to go before an election has to be held.
- 26 June – England's hopes of being European champions of football for the first time are ended with a penalty shootout defeat to Germany after a 1–1 draw in the semi-final.
- 30 June – Germany wins the European Championship final with a 2–1 victory over Czech Republic at Wembley.
- 5 July – Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to have been successfully cloned from an adult cell, is born at the Roslin Institute in Scotland.
- 8 July – The Spice Girls first single Wannabe is released.
- 12 July – South African president Nelson Mandela visits Britain.
- 18 July – Howard Hughes, 31, is found guilty of the murder of seven-year-old Sophie Hook at Llandudno, North Wales, 12 months ago. He is sentenced to life imprisonment at Chester Crown Court and the trial judge Mr Justice Curtis recommends that he is never released.
- 19 July – 9 August – Great Britain and Northern Ireland compete at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, and win 1 gold, 8 silver and 6 bronze medals.
- 30 July – Alan Shearer becomes the most expensive footballer in the world in a £15million transfer from Blackburn Rovers to Newcastle United.
- 14 August – Unemployment has fallen to 2,126,200 – its lowest level since the summer of 1991.
- 28 August – The Prince and Princess of Wales complete their divorce proceedings after 15 years of marriage. Their separation was first announced nearly four years ago. The former Princess of Wales loses her style of Royal Highness and assumes the style, Diana, Princess of Wales.
- Ford launches its revolutionary new Ka city car, which makes use of a shortened Fiesta chassis. A revamped Mondeo goes on sale next month.
- Launch of the second generation Nissan Primera, built at Nissan's Sunderland factory.
- BBC Two shows first episode of lifestyle reality television show Changing Rooms.
- 5 September – Matthew Harding, vice-chairman of Chelsea football club, makes a £1million donation to the Labour Party – the largest donation made to the party by any individual.
- 20 September – 53-year-old jockey Willie Carson is badly injured after being kicked by a horse at Newbury, Berkshire.
- 12 October – The Conservative government's majority has dwindled to a single seat with the defection of Peter Thurnham to the Liberal Democrats.
- 13 October – Racing driver Damon Hill wins the Japanese Grand Prix thus clinching the Drivers' World Championship.
- 14 October – 2 new programmes both on the best-selling toys. (Sky Dancers and Dragon Flyz)
- 16 October – The Government announces plans to make possession of handguns illegal in the UK, following the Dunblane massacre.
- 25 October – 11 VCI children's titles – out now on video.
- 3 November – Barry Porter, Conservative MP for Wirral South, dies of cancer aged 57.
- 8 November – With the next general election no more than six months away, Labour still look set for a return to power after eighteen years, but the Conservatives have cut their lead to seventeen points in the latest MORI opinion poll – one of the narrowest gaps seen between the two leading parties in any opinion poll over the last three years.
- 18 November – Channel Tunnel fire – the Channel Tunnel is closed when a truck on a transporter wagon catches fire, disrupting Eurotunnel Shuttle and Eurostar services.
- 30 November – The Stone of Scone is installed in Edinburgh Castle 700 years after it was removed from Scotland by King Edward I of England.
- 7 December – Sir John Gorst, 68-year-old Conservative MP for Hendon North in London, announces his resignation, leaving his party without a majority in the House of Commons.
- 10 December
- James Mirrlees wins the Nobel Prize in Economics jointly with William Vickrey "for their fundamental contributions to the economic theory of incentives under asymmetric information".
- Harold Kroto wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley "for their discovery of fullerenes".
- 18 December – Unemployment has fallen below 2,000,000 for the first time in almost six years, four years since it peaked at nearly 3,000,000 in the recession. Despite the strong economic recovery and falling unemployment, the Conservatives are still trailing behind Labour in the opinion polls, a stark contrast to their performance at the last election, where they retained power despite Britain being in recession.
- Lawyer and politician John Taylor is made a Life Peer as Baron Taylor of Warwick, the first black Conservative peer.
- More than 4% of the UK population (some 2.5million people) now have internet access.
- New car sales in the United Kingdom are above 2 million for this year, a level last seen in 1990.
- Iain M. Banks's novel Excession.
- Seamus Deane's novel Reading in the Dark.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels Feet of Clay and Hogfather; and his Johnny Maxwell novel Johnny and the Bomb.
- Graham Swift's novel Last Orders.
- Meera Syal's semi-autobiographical novel Anita and Me.
- 4 January – Jade Jones, athlete
- 8 January – Hiram Boateng, footballer
- 11 January – Charlie Coulson, footballer
- 17 January – Kirsty Hickey, actor, singer and dancer
- 21 January – Kyle Lander, footballer
- 26 January – Tyger Drew-Honey, actor
- 29 January – Megan Jossa, actress
- February – Nathan Curtis, footballer
- 1 February
- 14 February – Bethany Firth, swimmer
- 20 February – Patrick Brough, footballer
- 26 February – Sophie Turner, actress
- 8 March – Lorna Fitzgerald, actress
- 12 March – Byron Lawrence, footballer
- 16 March – Ivan Toney, footballer
- 17 March – Lydia Lloyd-Henry, actress
- 19 March – Kaiya Jones, Australian actress
- 20 March – Charley Hull, golfer
- 21 March – Adam Ellis, French-born grasstrack and speedway rider
- 22 March
- 31 March – Barney Gibson, cricketer
- 3 April – Anna Jobarteh, actress
- 5 April – Lowri Shone, ballerina
- 11 April – Dele Alli, footballer
- 23 April – Charlie Rowe, actor
- 25 April
- 1 June – Tom Holland, actor and dancer
- 4 June – Ruby Harrold, gymnast
- 11 June – Hakeeb Adelakun, footballer
- 23 June – Charlie Jones, actor
- 27 June – James Forde, actor
- 28 June – William Miller, actor
- 30 June – Gregor Ramsay, racing driver
- 9 July – Scott McMann, footballer
- 15 July – Mason Bennett, footballer
- 16 July – Daniel Pearson, actor and presenter
- 24 July – Jordan McGhee, footballer
- 26 July – Olivia Breen, athlete
- 28 July – Samuel Chatto, son of Lady Sarah Chatto and Daniel Chatto
- 2 August – Robert Madge, actor
- 5 August – Hannah Russell, paralympic swimmer
- 9 August – Céline Buckens, Belgian-born actress
- 20 August – Sophie Kamlish, paralympic
- 22 August
- 30 August – Rose Liston, actress
- 2 September – Hannah Jones, snooker player
- 17 September – Ella Purnell, actress
- 20 September – Jerome Sinclair, footballer
- 25 September
- 28 September – Aiden Moffat, racing driver
- 16 October – Sam Thornton, diver
- 17 October – Princess Marie-Caroline of Liechtenstein
- 19 October
- 21 October – Alicia Blagg, diver
- 25 October – Georgia Lock, actress and presenter
- 26 October – Rebecca Tunney, gymnast
- 31 October – Connor Wilkinson, actor
- 18 December – Devaanshi Mehta, started the Asian Donor Campaign (ADC) (died 2012)
- 26 December – Cassius Taylor, son of Lady Helen Taylor
Full date unknown
- 8 January – Norrie McCathie, footballer (born 1961)
- 16 January – Harry Potts, former footballer and football manager (born 1920)
- 11 February – Cyril Poole, former cricketer (born 1921)
- 14 February – Bob Paisley, former footballer and football manager (born 1919)
- 27 February – Pat Smythe, show jumper (born 1928)
- 25 March – John Snagge, radio personality (born 1904)
- 6 April – Greer Garson, actress (born 1904)
- 20 April – Christopher Robin Milne, author and bookseller (born 1920)
- 2 May – Peter Swales, businessman and former football chairman (born 1932)
- 20 May – Jon Pertwee, actor (born 1919)
- 2 June – Leon Garfield, children's author (born 1921)
- 4 August – Geoff Hamilton, television presenter (born 1936)
- 6 August – Ossie Clark, fashion designer (born 1942; murdered)
- 9 August – Frank Whittle, RAF officer and inventor (born 1907)
- 11 October – Terry Patchett, Labour Member of Parliament (born 1940)
- 13 October – Beryl Reid, actress (born 1919)
- 16 October – Eric Malpass, novelist (born 1910)
- 22 October – Matthew Harding, businessman (born 1953)
- 6 November – Tommy Lawton, footballer (born 1919)
- 24 November – Sorley MacLean, Scottish Gaelic poet (born 1911)
- 26 November – Michael Bentine, comedian and comic actor (born 1922)
- 9 December – Mary Leakey, archaeologist (born 1913)
- 11 December – Willie Rushton, comedian, actor, and cartoonist (born 1937)
- 11 December – W. G. G. Duncan Smith, World War II pilot (born 1914)
- 16 December – Quentin Bell, biographer and art historian (born 1910)
- "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.
- "Passenger train operating companes: who bought what". Railway Magazine: 20. April 1997.
- "1996: First GM food goes on sale in UK". BBC News. 5 February 1996. Archived from the original on 2 February 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
- "1996: Docklands bomb ends IRA ceasefire". BBC News. 10 February 1996. Archived from the original on 1 February 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
- "1996: Arms-to-Iraq report published". BBC News. 15 February 1996. Archived from the original on 18 February 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
- "1996: Bomb blast destroys London bus". BBC News. 18 February 1996. Archived from the original on 21 January 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
- Wolmar, Christian (22 February 1996). "Wrong kind of snow in tunnel...". London: The Independent. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- "1996: Massacre in Dunblane school gym". BBC News. 13 March 1996. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
- "Politics 97". BBC. 1997. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- "British Election Panel Study, 1992–97". CREST. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- Penguin Pocket on This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- "1996: Huge explosion rocks central Manchester". BBC News. 15 June 1996. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
- "1996: Handguns to be banned in the UK". BBC News. 16 October 1996. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
- "Obituary: Barry Porter". The Independent (London). 4 November 1996. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
- "The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1996". Retrieved 3 February 2008.
- "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1996". Retrieved 3 February 2008.
- "Lord Taylor of Warwick". www.parliament.uk. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- McKinney, David (10 January 1996). "Obituary: Norrie McCathie". The Independent (London). Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- Shaw, Phil (7 November 1996). "Football: Tommy Lawton dies at age of 77". The Independent (London). Retrieved 1 April 2011.