2001 in the United Kingdom
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|2001 in the United Kingdom:|
|1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003|
|Individual countries of the United Kingdom|
|England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales|
|Sport, Television and music|
Events from the year 2001 in the United Kingdom.
|This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (January 2015)|
- 5 January – A report by the Department of Health suggests that Dr Harold Shipman, convicted of 15 murders a year ago, may have killed more than 300 patients since the 1970s.
- 8 January
- 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.
- Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000 comes into effect, reducing the age of consent for male homosexual sexual acts to that for heterosexual and lesbian acts, sixteen (seventeen in Northern Ireland).
- 9 January – Sven-Göran Eriksson begins his job as manager of the England football team six months ahead of schedule, having resigned from his previous job as Lazio manager. He had signed a five-year contract with The Football Association on 30 October 2000 to succeed Kevin Keegan.
- 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.
- 24 January – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Mandelson resigns from the cabinet for the second time.
- 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.
- 19 February – Foot and mouth crisis begins.
- 25 February – Liverpool beat Birmingham City on penalties after a 1–1 draw in the Football League Cup final – the first cup final to be played at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, since Wembley closed for redevelopment.
- 28 February – A rail crash near Selby kills 10 people.
- 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.
- 17 March – Eden Project opens to the public near St Austell, Cornwall; conceived by Tim Smit with design by Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners.
- 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.
- 23 April
- Jane Andrews, a former personal assistant to Sarah, Duchess of York, goes on trial accused of murdering her fiancé Thomas Cressman.
- Manchester United pay a British record fee of £19million for Ruud van Nistelrooy, the 24-year-old PSV Eindhoven and Netherlands national football team striker who had been due to join the club last year until the transfer was put on hold by injury.
- 29 April – Census of population in the United Kingdom.
- 1 May – An anti-capitalist demonstration in London, part of worldwide protests, turns violent.
- 4 May – The government relaxes its sanctions designed to tackle the foot and mouth crisis after more than two months.
- 12 May – Liverpool win the FA Cup Final when two Michael Owen goals in the final minutes of the game give them a 2–1 win over Arsenal in the final at the Millennium Stadium.
- 15 May – Medication prices fall as a result of a court ruling which puts an end to the drug industry's price-fixing policies.
- 16 May –
- Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott punches a protester who threw an egg at him in Rhyl.
- Jane Andrews is sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of murdering Thomas Cressman.
- Liverpool win the UEFA Cup – their first European trophy for 17 years – with a 5–4 win over Spanish side Deportivo Alavés.
- 1 June – Official opening of Cardiff Bay Barrage.
- 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.
- 8 June – William Hague announces his resignation as Conservative Party leader after four years.
- 17 June – Cardinal Winning, head of the Roman Catholic church in Scotland, dies of a heart attack aged 76.
- 22 June – Home Secretary David Blunkett announces that Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, convicted at the age of 11 of murdering toddler James Bulger on Merseyside, are to be released on life licence later this year after the Parole Board recommended their release after eight years in custody.
- 25 June – A race riot breaks out in Burnley, with more than 200 white and Asian youths being involved in brawling, vandalism and arson.
- 29 June – The government announces plans to build a £3million fountain in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales at Hyde Park, London.
- July – MG Rover launches a new range of MG-badged performance variants of its Rover family cars.
- 2 July
- Dean 'Sharky' Chambers began his career path which would ultimately lead to him becoming 'Brunch Manager. This was also the start of an incredible MC career in the Grime scene, and the launch of his first album 'Tired Bruv'.
- Barry George is sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of the television presenter Jill Dando, who was killed in Fulham, London, on 26 April 1999. George is acquitted at a retrial in 2008.
- 7 July – Two people are stabbed in race riots in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
- 9 July – First episode of television sitcom The Office shown on BBC Two.
- 12 July – The British transfer record is broken for the third time in eight months when Manchester United pay Italian club Lazio £28.1million for Argentine midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron.
- 16 July – The Labour government suffers its first parliamentary defeat over the sacking of Gwyneth Dunwoody and Donald Anderson as chairs of select committees on transport and foreign affairs.
- 18 July – Philip John Smith is sentenced to life imprisonment after pleading guilty to the murders of three women in Birmingham in November last year.
- 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 of Derek Bennett, a 29-year-old black man, by armed police in the area. 27 people are arrested and three police officers are injured.
- 29 July – A victim support group condemns a reported £11,000 payout by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority to the parents of murdered Sarah Payne as "derisory".
- 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.
- 7 August – The government takes an unprecedented step with the £27million nationalisation of a private hospital near Harley Street in London.
- 10 August – Former Conservative Party MP Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine are arrested on suspicion of sexual assault.
- 11 August – Southampton F.C. move into their new 32,000-seat St Mary's Stadium.
- 16 August – Former royal butler Paul Burrell charged with the theft of items belonging to the late Diana, Princess of Wales; the prosecution subsequently collapses.
- 31 August – Neil and Christine Hamilton are cleared in connection with the sexual assault allegations.
- 5 September – Peter Bray completes the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a kayak.
- 7 September – One million children in over 3,000 schools participate in an experiment to discover if it is possible to create earthquakes by all jumping off chairs.
- 10 September – The Bank of Scotland and the Halifax merge to form HBOS plc.
- 11 September
- 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.
- One Canada Square, the UK's tallest building, and the London Stock Exchange are evacuated following the attacks in the United States.
- 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.
- 13 September
- 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.
- Iain Duncan Smith becomes leader of the Conservative Party after winning the leadership election.
- 14 September – National memorial service held at St Paul's Cathedral for the victims of the terrorist attacks.
- 17 September – Gateshead Millennium Bridge opens to the public.
- 21 September – Teenager Ross Parker murdered in racially motivated attack by Muslim Asian gang in Peterborough.
- 6 October – The England national football team achieves automatic qualification for next summer's World Cup in Japan and South Korea with a 2–2 draw against Greece at Old Trafford, thanks to an injury time equaliser by captain David Beckham.
- 7 October – The United States of America's Armed-forces invade Afghanistan. Submarines of the British Royal Navy participate using Tomahawk cruise missiles.
- 23 October – Provisional Irish Republican Army announces that it has begun to decommission its weapons.
- 25 October – The British Crime Survey reveals that crime rates are at their lowest levels since 1981.
- 9 November – Debut of the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in London.
- 12 November – Greek authorities hold 12 British plane-spotters on charges of spying.
- 22 November – The Labour government's upturn in popularity continues as the latest MORI poll puts them 31 points ahead of the Conservatives on 56%.
- 24 November – The 2001 Kangaroo tour concludes with the Australia national rugby league team defeating Great Britain in the 3rd and deciding test match of the Ashes series.
- December – The unsuccessful Nissan Primera P12 goes into production with Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK.
- 10 December
- V. S. Naipaul wins the Nobel Prize in Literature "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories".
- Timothy Hunt and Paul Nurse win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with Leland H. Hartwell "for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle".
- 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.
- 13 December – Lynette Lithgow, 51-year-old former BBC newsreader, is found murdered with her mother and brother at the family home in Trinidad.
- 21 December – The Metropolitan Police storm a cargo ship in the English Channel fearing that it may contain terrorist material.
- 22 December – British-born terrorist, Richard Reid, attempts to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to Miami International Airport, using explosives hidden in his shoes.
- Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, a national higher education institution, is established, the founding affiliates being the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the London Contemporary Dance School.
- The red-billed chough recolonises Cornwall after an absence of 50 years.
- First osprey breed in England in recent times.
- 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.
- 29 October – Roger Hargreaves' children's book Mr. Cheeky celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Mr. Men series.
- Ian McEwan's novel Atonement.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels Thief of Time, The Last Hero and The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents wins the Carnegie Medal.
- 24 February – Ramona Marquez, actress
- 5 March – Robert A Foster, actor
- 6 May - Gayatri Nair, pianist and vocalist
- 21 June - Eleanor Worthington Cox, actress
- 10 July – Maisie Smith, actress
- 17 November - Reece Buttery, actor
Full date unknown
- 11 January – Michael Williams, actor (born 1935)
- 30 January – Johnnie Johnson, pilot (born 1915)
- 23 February – Marcus Sieff, Baron Sieff of Brimpton, businessman (born 1913)
- 27 February – Stan Cullis, former footballer and football manager (born 1915)
- 10 March – Michael Woodruff, surgeon and scientist (born 1911)
- 31 March – David Rocastle, former footballer (born 1967)
- 11 April – Harry Secombe, entertainer (born 1921)
- 26 April – Bryon Butler, sports journalist (born 1934)
- 12 May – Simon Raven, novelist (born 1927)
- 30 June – Joe Fagan, former footballer, football coach and football manager (born 1921)
- 17 June – Thomas Winning, Archbishop of Glasgow, (born 1925)
- 28 June – Joan Sims, actress (born 1930)
- 3 August – Frank Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford, peer, politician and reformer (born 1905)
- 5 August – Aaron Flahavan, footballer (born 1975)
- 6 August – Dorothy Tutin, actress (born 1930)
- 19 August – Les Sealey, football coach and former footballer (born 1957)
- 20 August – Fred Hoyle, astronomer (born 1915)
- 12 October – Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, politician (born 1907)
- 15 October – Jamie Cann, politician (born 1946)
- 5 November – Roy Boulting, film director and producer (born 1913)
- 14 November – Charlotte Coleman, actress (born 1968)
- 23 November – Mary Whitehouse, TV campaigner (born 1910)
- 29 November – George Harrison, musician and film producer (born 1943)
- 7 December – David Astor, newspaper publisher (born 1912)
- 16 December – Stuart Adamson, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter (born 1958)
- 26 December – Nigel Hawthorne, actor (born 1929)
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