2004 in the United Kingdom
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|2004 in the United Kingdom:|
|2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006|
|News by month|
|Jan – Feb – Mar – Apr – May – Jun
Jul – Aug – Sep – Oct – Nov – Dec
|Individual countries of the United Kingdom|
Events from the year 2004 in the United Kingdom.
- 1 January – Papers released under the Thirty Year Rule reveal that, contrary to what was believed at the time, The Princess Margaret would not have lost her title nor Civil List payments had she married Group Captain Peter Townsend, a divorced War hero, in the 1950s.
- 3 January – The BBC cancels the appearance of Coca Cola sponsorship credits in the music charts in its BBC One Top of the Pops show, after criticism from politicians and health campaigners that it would be promoting junk food and unhealthy drink products to teenagers.
- 6 January
- 7 January – It is announced that a record of nearly 2,600,000 new cars were sold in the United Kingdom during 2003.
- 8 January – The Queen Mary 2 is christened by Elizabeth II.
- 13 January
- 14 January – A 45-year-old Sudanese man travelling from Washington Dulles International Airport to airport Dubai is arrested en route at London's Heathrow Airport on suspicion of carrying 5 bullets in his coat pocket.
- 19 January – The English Court of Appeal calls for an end to the prosecution of parents whose babies may have died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (cot death) in cases where the only evidence is contended expert testimony.
- 21 January – The Secretary of State for Defence publishes a White paper Delivering Security in a Changing World, detailing wide-ranging reform of the country's armed forces.
- 27 January – The vote of Scottish Labour MPs, whose constituents were unaffected by the legislation, help Prime Minister Tony Blair narrowly defeat a rebellion in his own party over the Higher Education Bill – a highly controversial bill to reform higher education funding in England, including the introduction of increased and variable tuition fees – in the House of Commons by 316 votes to 311.
- 28 January – The Hutton Inquiry into the circumstances of the death of Dr. David Kelly is published. This is taken by most of the press to strongly condemn the BBC's handling of the David Kelly affair and to exonerate the government; the BBC's Director-General, Greg Dyke, chairman of the Board of Governors, Gavyn Davies, and the journalist at the centre of the controversy, Andrew Gilligan, resign. The UK media in general condemns the report as a whitewash.
- 1 February – Media sources and victim support groups across Britain condemn the £11,000 payouts to the families of the two girls who were murdered at Soham in August 2002 as a "pittance". The compensation was paid out by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
- 3 February – Foreign Secretary Jack Straw announces an independent inquiry, to be chaired by Lord Butler, to examine the reliability of intelligence on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
- 5 February/6 February – A party of Chinese cockle pickers is caught by the tides at night in Morecambe Bay, Lancashire, drowning 23 people. 21 bodies are recovered.
- 6 February – The Home Office confirms that Maxine Carr, convicted with Ian Huntley concerning the Soham murders of 2001, could be released from prison in the next few days.
- 11 February – Richard Desmond, the owner of the Daily Express and Daily Star tabloids, confirms that he has made a bid for the troubled Daily Telegraph.
- 15 February – The government are reported to have drawn up plans to break up the BBC in the wake of the Hutton inquiry.
- 19 February – Foreign Secretary Jack Straw announces that five of the nine Britons held without trial as terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba, along with a Dane, are to be released.
- 21 February – Prime Minister Tony Blair comes under pressure from British human rights groups and MPs because of the government's sweeping powers under the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act, which have allowed the detention of 14 foreign terrorist suspects in the UK at what has been described as 'Britain's Guantanamo Bay'.
- 24 February – The British Olympic Association bans European 100 meter champion Dwain Chambers from competing in the Olympic Games for life for a positive test for the designer steroid THG.
- 25 February – Katharine Gun, formerly an employee of British spy agency GCHQ, has a charge of breaching the Official Secrets Act dropped after prosecutors offered no evidence, apparently on the advice of the Attorney General for England and Wales. Gun had admitted leaking American plans to bug UN delegates to a newspaper.
- 26 February – Clare Short, former Cabinet Minister, alleges on the BBC Today radio programme that British spies regularly intercept UN communications, including those of Kofi Annan, its Secretary-General.
- 29 February – Middlesbrough F.C. wins their first trophy in their 128-year history by defeating Bolton Wanderers F.C. in the Football League Cup Final.
- Vauxhall launches the fifth generation of its popular Astra family hatchback. It is initially just available as a five-door hatchback, with a three-door "Sporthatch" and a five-door estate due later that year.
- 11 March – Tory and Labour support is equal on 35% for the second time in nine months, raising the sceptre of a hung parliament at the next general election which is expected within a year. 
- 16 March – Fifteen-year-old Scottish boy Kriss Donald abducted, tortured and murdered by Pakistani gang in racially motivated attack in Glasgow.
- 21 March – Architect Zaha Hadid becomes the first female recipient of the Pritzker Prize.
- 19 April – Tony Blair announces a change in government policy: there is to be a referendum on the proposed EU Constitution.
- 28 April – Landmark office building 30 St Mary Axe ("The Gherkin") in the City of London, designed by Norman Foster, opens.
- 10 May – Maxine Carr is released from prison with a new identity after serving half of her sentence for perverting the course of justice.
- 11 May – Stockline Plastics factory explosion: four people die in an explosion at a factory in Glasgow.
- 14 May – Piers Morgan is dismissed as editor of the Daily Mirror after the newspaper published fake pictures of Iraqi prisoner abuse.
- 19 May – Fathers 4 Justice stage a protest in the House of Commons at Prime Minister's Question Time by throwing purple powder at Tony Blair.
- 22 May – Manchester United beat Millwall 3-0 in the FA Cup final.
- 27 May – The Member of Parliament for Leicester South, Jim Marshall dies, triggering a by-election.
- 31 May – Premiere of the children's animation series Peppa Pig (produced by Astley Baker Davies) on Channel 5 television.
- 2 June – Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese coach who led FC Porto to European Cup glory on 26 May, is named as the new manager of Chelsea F.C. on a three-year contract.
- 6 June – Sixtieth anniversary of D-Day. Last minute pressure forces First Minister of Scotland Jack McConnell to attend commemorations. Rhodri Morgan, the First Minister of Wales takes flak for not doing the same.
- 10 June
- 11 June – The incumbent Ken Livingstone is announced as the winner of the election for Mayor of London.
- 14 June – Results of the European elections are announced. United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) are the main gainers, increasing from 3 to 12 MEPs.
- 16 June – Liverpool F.C. appoint the Spaniard Rafael Benitez as their new manager.
- 21 June – The Football League club Wimbledon, who relocated to Milton Keynes from South London last autumn, are renamed Milton Keynes Dons to reflect their new location.
- 24 June – England are knocked out of Euro 2004 by Portugal, on penalties.
- 2 July
- 6 July – The Queen unveils a memorial fountain to Diana, Princess of Wales.
- 8 July – Marks and Spencer overheads turn down a takeover bid by retail tycoon Philip Green.
- 12 July – Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown announces the massive loss of 100,000 civil service jobs in the UK; the savings to be put into front-line services such as Health and Education.
- 13 July
- The Public Administration Committee of the House of Commons recommends massive changes to the British Honours System including scrapping knighthoods and renaming the Order of the British Empire to the 'Order of British Excellence'.
- The Countryside Agency publicises a new Countryside Code in advance of the 'Right to Roam' coming into effect in September across England and Wales.
- The House of Lords makes a hostile amendment to the Constitutional Reform Bill that would retain the name of the office of Lord Chancellor.
- 14 July – The Butler Inquiry releases its report, mildly criticising the government in their use of intelligence relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.
- 15 July – Leicester South and Birmingham Hodge Hill by-elections held. The Hodge Hill by-election is a Labour hold, but the party loses the Leicester South seat to 37-year-old Liberal Democrat Parmjit Singh Gill, an Indian Sikh who is the party's first ethnic minority MP.
- 18 July – North Yorkshire police launch a murder hunt after 27-year-old twin sisters Claire and Diane Sanderson are found dead in a flat in Camblesforth, near Selby.
- 19 July – The Government announces backing for the Crossrail project.
- 20 July – Government to publish results of review into Council Tax in England.
- 23 July – Tony Blair announces that Peter Mandelson is to become Britain's new European Commissioner.
- 9 August – West Bromwich Albion terminate the contract of striker Lee Hughes as he is sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty causing death by dangerous driving, having killed a 56-year-old man in a collision near Coventry on 22 November 2003.
- 13–29 August – Great Britain participates in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens winning a total of 9 gold, 9 silver and 12 bronze medals.
- 16 August – Boscastle flood of 2004: flash floods destroy buildings and wash cars out to sea in Cornwall.
- 28 August – Kelly Holmes wins her second gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
- 13 September – A Fathers 4 Justice campaigner dressed as Batman breaches security at Buckingham Palace.
- 15 September – Parliament is suspended after pro-hunt campaigners break into the House of Commons.
- 1 October – Tony Blair announces his intention to resign as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom if Labour win the next General Election, so he will not have to stand for a possible fourth term in the position.
- 7 October – British hostage Ken Bigley, of Liverpool, is beheaded by militants in Iraq.
- 9 October – Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh, designed by Enric Miralles, is opened.
- 19 October – British aid worker Margaret Hassan is taken hostage in Iraq.
- 4 November – A referendum is held in North East England on the establishment of elected regional assemblies. The majority of voters said "no" to the plans.
- 6 November – Ufton Nervet rail crash: Seven people are killed when a train is derailed by a car deliberately left on a level crossing in Berkshire.
- 15 November – Children Act clarifies most official responsibilities for children, notably bringing all local government functions for children's welfare and education under the authority of local Directors of Children's Services.
- 16 November
- The government announces plans to prohibit smoking in most enclosed public places (including workplaces) within the next three years.
- It is reported that Margaret Hassan is dead after her family receive a video recording supposedly showing her being killed.
- 18 November – Parliament passes the Hunting Act 2004 banning fox hunting in England and Wales.
- 20 November – Launch of the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission, a joint United States, UK and Italian developed spacecraft, designed to study gamma-ray bursts.
- 28 November – Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff is opened.
- Ford launches the second generation of its best-selling Focus family car that was originally launched in September 1998.
- 2 December – David Bieber, a 38-year-old former United States marine, is found guilty of murdering PC Ian Broadhurst in Leeds on Boxing Day last year. He is sentenced to life imprisonment and the trial judge recommends that he should never be released from prison. After his conviction, it is revealed that Bieber was wanted in connection with a 1995 murder in Florida. It is also revealed that he had entered Britain by using the name Nathan Wayne Coleman – who was really a child who had died in infancy in 1968.
- 14 December – Millau Viaduct in France, designed by British architect Norman Foster, is opened.
- 15 December – David Blunkett resigns as Home Secretary after three-and-a-half years in the role.
- 20 December – Northern Bank robbery in Belfast, £26.5 million is stolen.
- 26 December – A significant number of Britons are among the thousands of people killed by a tsunami in the Indian Ocean. The victims are killed in countries including Indonesia and Thailand.
- Iain M. Banks' novel The Algebraist.
- Louis de Bernières' novel Birds Without Wings.
- Alan Hollinghurst's novel The Line of Beauty.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels A Hat Full of Sky and Going Postal.
- The Liberal Democrat tract The Orange Book: Reclaiming Liberalism edited by Paul Marshall and David Laws.
- 17 September – Prince Odysseas-Kimon of Greece and Denmark
- 9 November – Mohammad Sahil Saeed
- 21 December – Estella Taylor, daughter of Lady Helen Taylor
Full date unknown
- Jack Henderson, artist
- 4 January
- 13 January – Harold Shipman, serial killer (born 1946)
- 26 January – Hugh Jenkins, Baron Jenkins of Putney, politician (born 1908)
- 27 January – Hugh Scanlon, trade union leader (born 1913)
- 29 January – M. M. Kaye, writer (born 1908)
- 1 February –
- 6 February – Humphry Osmond, psychiatrist (born 1917)
- 15 March – John Pople, chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (born 1925)
- 28 March – Peter Ustinov, actor, writer, dramatist and raconteur (born 1921)
- 13 April – Caron Keating, television presenter (born 1962)
- 19 April – Norris McWhirter, political activist and television presenter (born 1925)
- 3 May – Anthony Ainley, actor (born 1932)
- 14 May – Anna Lee, actress (born 1913)
- 29 May – Jack Rosenthal, playwright (born 1931)
- 1 July – Peter Barnes, playwright and screenwriter (born 1931)
- 18 July – Paul Foot, journalist and nephew of former Labour Party leader Michael Foot (born 1937)
- 28 July – Francis Crick, scientist, discoverer of the structure of DNA (born 1916)
- 12 August – Godfrey Hounsfield, electrical engineer and inventor, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (born 1919)
- 13 October – Bernice Rubens, novelist (born 1928)
- 20 October – Lynda Lee-Potter Daily Mail columnist (born 1935)
- 21 October – Vincent Brome, writer (born 1910)
- 23 October – Bill Nicholson, footballer and football manager (born 1919)
- 25 October – John Peel, DJ and radio presenter (born 1939)
- 29 October – Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, member of the Royal Family and last surviving aunt of The Queen (born 1901)
- 29 October – Peter Twinn, mathematician, World War II codebreaker and entomologist (born 1916)
- 6 November – Fred Dibnah, steeplejack and television personality (born 1938)
- 9 November – Emlyn Hughes, footballer, football manager and TV gameshow captain (born 1947)
- 13 November – John Balance, English singer-songwriter (Coil) (born 1962)
- 19 November – John Robert Vane, pharmacologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (born 1927)
- 2 December – Alicia Markova, ballerina (born 1910)
- 24 December – Anthony Meyer, former Conservative MP who unsuccessfully challenged Margaret Thatcher's leadership in 1989 (born 1920)
- "Record UK car sales during 2003". BBC News. 7 January 2004. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
- "2004: Serial killer Shipman found hanged". BBC News. 13 January 2004. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
- Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 656–660. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- McGuinness, Ross (16 March 2009). "Metro". pp. 30, 31.
- Carrell, Severin (9 November 2006). "Three jailed for life for race murder of schoolboy". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 22 April 2010.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- "30 St Mary Axe". Emporis. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- Factory explosion kills four (BBC)
- "2004: Angry dads hit Blair with purple flour". BBC News. 19 May 2004. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
- "Chelsea appoint Mourinho". BBC News. 2 June 2004. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "League gets revamp". BBC News. 10 June 2004. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Liverpool appoint Benitez". BBC News. 16 June 2004. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Wimbledon to change name". BBC News. 21 June 2004. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "2004: Second gold for Kelly Holmes". BBC News. 28 August 2004. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
- ""Hunt brawl in Commons", Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 19 April 2008.
- "2004: British hostage feared dead in Iraq". BBC News. 7 October 2004. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
- "2004: British aid worker kidnapped in Iraq". BBC News. 19 October 2004. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
- "2004: British aid worker kidnapped in Iraq". BBC News. 19 October 2004. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
- Gilliland, Ben (16 January 2009). "Science & Discovery". Metro.
- "2004: Blunkett resigns over visa accusations". BBC News. 15 December 2004. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
- "Timeline: Northern Bank robbery". BBC News. 7 January 2005. Retrieved 24 March 2009.
- "2004: Thousands die in Asian tsunami". BBC News. 26 December 2004. Archived from the original on 28 December 2008. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
- "Sir Anthony Meyer Bt". The Independent (London). 10 January 2005. Retrieved 14 November 2010.