2005 in the United Kingdom
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|2005 in the United Kingdom:|
|2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007|
|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 2005 in the United Kingdom.
- 1 January
- New Year's celebrations all over the UK fall silent for two minutes as a mark of respect for those who died in the tsunami.
- The Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the main provisions of the Child Trust Funds Act 2004 (introducing a Child Trust Fund with a government contribution for kids that were born after 1 September 2002) come into force.
- New Chip and PIN legislation comes into effect today. It makes retailers liable for fraudulent transactions if they have failed to sign up to the scheme.
- 2 January – Operation Garron, the British military aid effort for victims of the Indian Ocean earthquake is launched.
- 5 January – Funeral of the Rt Hon Sir Angus Ogilvy, husband of Princess Alexandra, The Hon Lady Ogilvy, takes place at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
- 8 January
- The BBC broadcasts Jerry Springer - The Opera despite receiving at least 45,000 complaints.
- After a night of stormy weather a ferry has run aground on Scotland's coast, with passengers remaining on board rather than evacuating in stormy weather. Extensive flooding has occurred in Carlisle as well as other locations in Britain and many homes are without power.
- 12 January – Britain's tallest self-supporting sculpture, the "B of the Bang", is unveiled in Manchester by Linford Christie.
- 13 January
- Pictures of Prince Harry wearing a Nazi military uniform at a private "fancy dress" party are published in the newspapers.
- Sir Mark Thatcher is fined three million Rand (approximately £265,000), and receives a four-year suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to supplying equipment to mercenaries for an attempted coup of Equatorial Guinea.
- 15 January – Conservative Member of Parliament Robert Jackson, MP for Wantage, Oxfordshire, defects to the Labour Party.
- 20 January – Carolyn Leckie, a member of the Scottish Parliament, is jailed for seven days for non-payment of a fine arising from a protest at Faslane nuclear base.
- 22 January – 61,000 people attended the concert in aid of tsunami victims at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, which raised over £1.25 million. Artists performing in the largest concert in Britain since Live Aid include Charlotte Church, Craig David, Goldie Lookin' Chain, Aled Jones, Badly Drawn Boy, Manic Street Preachers, Lulu and Eric Clapton.
- 24 January – Hoaxer Christopher Pierson, who sent emails to relatives of people missing in the Indian Ocean tsunami from an AOL account purporting to be from the Foreign Office and claiming to confirm that the relatives were dead, is jailed for six months.
- 26 January
- Closure of Ellington Colliery at Ellington, Northumberland, the last remaining operational deep coal mine in North East England, and the last in the UK to extract coal from under the sea.
- Four Britons returned to the UK after being detained at Guantanamo Bay for up to three years are released from police custody without charge.
- Rodney Marsh, the former England national football star, is dismissed from his position as a pundit on Sky Sports because of a joke he made live on air concerning the Asian Tsunami.
- 29 January – Chris Smith, the former British Culture Secretary, reveals that he has been HIV positive for 17 years.
- 31 January – A murder inquiry is launched in Belfast after 33-year-old Robert McCartney dies in hospital from injuries sustained in a pub brawl.
- 2 February
- The Provisional Irish Republican Army issue a statement to the Republican newspaper An Phoblacht withdrawing from its commitment to the decommissioning of weapons and other deals related to the Northern Ireland peace process.
- Robert Kilroy-Silk officially launches the Veritas political party, on an anti-immigration platform, after quitting the eurosceptic UK Independence Party following a failed leadership bid.
- 6 February – Tony Blair becomes the longest-serving Labour prime minister, exceeding the combined record of Harold Wilson's two spells in power (1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976).
- 9 February
- Prime Minister Tony Blair issues a public apology to the 11 members of the Conlon and McGuire families who were wrongly convicted for the Guildford and Woolwich IRA pub bombings of 1974 when seven people were killed. the surviving members of the families were released in 1989 when the scientific evidence against them was discredited.
- The British survey ship HMS Scott produces the first sonar survey of the seabed site of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Some images appear to show a landslide 100 metres high and 2 kilometres long.
- 10 February
- The House of Commons passes the Identity Cards Bill at its third reading by 224 votes to 64, with a majority of 160. Most of the Conservative Party's MPs abstain. 19 Labour MPs and 11 Conservative MPs defy the whip and vote against the bill, which now moves on to the House of Lords.
- Clarence House announces that The Prince of Wales is to marry Camilla Parker Bowles on Friday 8 April in a civil ceremony at Windsor Castle. She will be styled "HRH The Duchess of Cornwall", and if the Prince becomes king, "HRH The Princess Consort".
- 11 February – Prime Minister Tony Blair heralds what is described as the "officially unofficial" start to the general election campaign with a whistlestop tour of marginal constituencies, unveiling six election pledges.
- 14 February
- Hare coursing: As the final Waterloo Cup event in England starts in Altcar, four anti-coursing protesters are arrested. The event is expected to attract up to 10,000 spectators over its 3 days.
- London's mayor Ken Livingstone is censured by the London Assembly for comparing a Jewish journalist for the Evening Standard to a concentration camp guard. Livingstone refuses to withdraw his comments.
- 15 February
- Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, receives substantial damages from two British newspapers, The Sun and The Sunday Times, which alleged that the United States was correct to ban him from the country. The Sun has published, and the Sunday Times will publish, acknowledgements that he is not, and never has been, involved in or supported terrorism, and that he abhors all such activities. They also highlight that Islam was recently presented with the Man for Peace award by a group of Nobel Peace Laureates.
- The European Court of Human Rights deciding about the so-called McLibel case rules in favour of environmental campaigners Helen Steel and David Morris and their claim that their trial was unfair. The pair said their human rights were violated when their criticism of McDonald's was ruled libel. The case has taken fifteen years.
- 17 February
- Irish police arrest four people in Cork and three in Dublin in raids concentrating on the financing of the Provisional IRA. Over 2.3 million pounds sterling were seized in Cork, and £60,000 in Northern Bank notes believed to be from the £26.5 million robbery in Belfast just before Christmas. Among the people arrested are reported to be a Sinn Féin councillor and someone working in the banking industry.
- The BNFL nuclear plant at Sellafield, in the United Kingdom, reports that 30 kg (66 lb) of plutonium is "unaccounted for". This amount of missing plutonium would be sufficient to make seven atomic bombs. The UK Atomic Energy Authority states that the discrepancy in the record keeping is merely an auditing issue, and that there was no "real loss" of plutonium.
- 18 February
- The UK Food Standards Agency orders the withdrawal of over 350 food products from sale following the discovery that a batch of chilli powder used to produce a batch of Worcestershire sauce subsequently used to produce processed foods was contaminated with the possibly-carcinogenetic dye Sudan I.
- The Hunting Act, the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales, comes into force. Its opponents intend to challenge the law and hunt.
- Mark Thatcher returns to court in Cape Town, South Africa, to answer charges about his involvement in a coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea.
- Northern Bank robbery investigation:
- Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) recover a sum of money at a sports and social club in Belfast frequented by members of the PSNI. It is thought perhaps to be a diversion, but is being investigated.
- A top Irish businessman and associate of the Taoiseach, Phil Flynn, steps down from a number of positions pending the outcome of a Garda investigation into Chesterton Finance, of which he is a non-executive director. He stepped down as chairman of a government body overseeing decentralisation, as well as giving up a position on the board of Vhi Healthcare and as chairman of the Bank of Scotland (Ireland).(Ireland Online)
- A man is arrested by Gardaí near Passage West in Cork, after he was discovered attempting to burn sterling banknotes.
- Gardaí release two men who were being questioned in Dublin, as well as a Sinn Féin member in Cork. A suspected Real IRA member arrested at Heuston Station has been remanded in custody, as have four people arrested in Farran in County Cork.
- Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams denies any involvement on the part of his party with money laundering in the country. The Irish Government Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Michael McDowell has described the IRA as a colossal crime machine laundering huge sums of money.
- 19 February – Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) confirm that £50,000 in unused Northern Bank notes found at Newforge Country Club, a facility for off-duty and retired police officers, was from the Northern Bank robbery. Police still consider it a diversion.
- 21 February – The Royal Navy announces that it will allow same-sex couples to live in family quarters if they are in registered partnership.
- 23 February – Three British soldiers are found guilty of abusing Iraqi prisoners; more British soldiers face the possibility of conviction.
- 25 February – The three soldiers convicted earlier this week of abusing Iraqi prisoners are jailed for periods between five months and two years, and dismissed from the army.
- 1 March – The New Forest in Hampshire becomes England's twelfth national park.
- 2 March – Microsoft founder Bill Gates receives an honorary knighthood for contributions to enterprise in the UK and efforts to reduce world poverty.
- 3 March – Sinn Féin suspends seven members over their alleged involvement in the murder of Belfast man, Robert McCartney, who was killed on 30 January.
- 11 March – The Prevention of Terrorism Act receives the Royal Assent. This permits the Home Secretary to make control orders restricting the liberty of named individuals.
- 16 March – The Office for National Statistics reports that employment is at a record high of nearly 28,600,000 and that the number of unemployment benefit claimants has fallen to 813,300 – the lowest for 30 years. However, it also reveals that nearly 1,000,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in eight years of Labour government. Critics claim that "real" job losses have been masked by an expansion of the public sector, with shadow chancellor Oliver Letwin describing the figures as "truly disturbing" and pointing out that 150,000 new jobs were created during the final three years of John Major's Conservative government.
- 24 March – The Constitutional Reform Act receives the Royal Assent. This provides for creation of a Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
- 26 March – Doctor Who is revived as a TV series by the BBC, having been discontinued in December 1989, starring former Cracker actor Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and pop star Billie Piper as his assistant Rose Tyler.
- 4 April – The Gender Recognition Act 2004 comes into effect, allowing transsexual people to have a reassigned gender legally recognised.
- 5 April – The Prime Minister, Tony Blair asks the Queen for a dissolution of Parliament for a general election on 5 May.
- 7 April – The last British-owned volume car maker, MG Rover is placed in receivership.
- 9 April – The wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles in a 20-minute ceremony at Windsor Guildhall, which is followed by a blessing at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.
- 15 April – Eight days after going into receivership, administrators at carmaker MG Rover make redundant virtually all of the 6,000+ workforce.
- 21 April – Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act passed by the Scottish Parliament, the first piece of legislation in the UK to give formal recognition to the Scottish Gaelic language. It aims to secure Gaelic as an official language of Scotland, commanding "equal respect" with English, by establishing Bòrd na Gàidhlig within the framework of the government of Scotland (Royal Assent: 1 June).
- 3 May – The last MORI poll before the general election puts Labour five points ahead of the Conservatives on 38%, with most observers predicting a Labour win with a significantly reduced majority. 
- 4 May – Constantin Brâncuși's series of sculptures Bird in Space sold at Christie's auction house in London for the record amount of US$27,456,000.
- 5 May
- General election: The Labour Party is returned to power, with a reduced majority of 66. The Liberal Democrats win the most seats for any third party since 1923, in the form of 62 MPs. Another addition to parliament is the new Respect unity coalition, who gain their first MP in George Galloway, the former Labour MP who has gained the Bethnal Green and Bow seat in London from Labour's Oona King.
- A bomb explodes outside the British consulate in New York.
- 6 May – Conservative Party leader, Michael Howard, announces that he plans to resign "sooner rather than later".
- 7 May – Ulster Unionist Party leader, David Trimble, resigns the leadership after losing his seat in the general election.
- 9 May – The Sellafield nuclear plant's Thorp reprocessing facility in Cumbria, is closed down due to the confirmation of a 20 tonne leak of highly radioactive uranium and plutonium fuel through a fractured pipe.
- 12 May – Malcolm Glazer gains control of Manchester United after securing a 70% share, ending more than 30 years of ownership by the Edwards family.
- 17 May – George Galloway, British MP, appears before the United States Senate to defend himself against charges that he profited from Saddam Hussein's regime, launching a tirade against the senators who had accused him and attacking the war in Iraq.
- 21 May – Arsenal become the first team to win the FA Cup on penalties after they defeat Manchester United in a shoot-out that follows a goalless draw.
- 25 May - Liverpool F.C win their 5th European Cup after a historic and un-forgettable win over A.C Milan in Istanbul.
- 27 May – Mark Hobson is sentenced to life imprisonment at Leeds Crown Court after admitting four charges of murder. On a killing spree in July last year, 35-year-old Hobson killed his girlfriend Claire Sanderson, Claire's sister Diane Sanderson, as well as pensioners James and Joan Britton. The trial judge recommends that Hobson is never released from prison.
- 31 May – Bob Geldof announces plans for a concert, Live 8, similar to Live Aid, which took place in 1985, to coincide with the G8 Summit in Edinburgh this July.
- 1 June – Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act of the Scottish Parliament establishes Bòrd na Gàidhlig to secure the status of Scottish Gaelic as an official language of Scotland.
- 17 June – The Ugandan-born bishop of Birmingham, John Sentamu is named the new Archbishop of York. He is the first ever black person to be appointed an Archbishop of the Church of England.
- 23 June – Prince William of Wales graduates from the University of St Andrews.
- 24 June – The IRA apologises unreservedly to the family of 14-year-old Kathleen Feeney, whom it shot dead in Londonderry in November 1973. The IRA had previously blamed the British Army for the killing.
- 28 June – In the Solent, the Queen conducts a Fleet Review of 167 naval, merchant and tall ships from the UK and 35 other nations to commemorate the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar.
- 1 July – Tony Blair assumes the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
- 2 July – Live 8 concerts are held.
- 5 July – Riots in Edinburgh by anti-capitalist and anti-G8 protesters.
- 6 July
- 7 July – A series of co-ordinated terrorist bombings strike London's public transport system during the morning rush hour. Three bombs exploded within 50 seconds of each other on three London Underground trains. A fourth bomb exploded on a bus an hour later in Tavistock Square. 52 civilians are killed and over 700injured.
- 11 July – Littlewoods sells its 119 stores across Britain to Associated British Foods in a £409million deal which will see them converted into Primark clothing stores and mean that the Littlewoods name will vanish from high streets and shopping centres next year after 83 years, although Littlewoods will continue trading as a catalogue and online retailer.
- 14 July – A two-minute silence is held across Europe at 12:00 BST to remember the victims of the London bombings.
- 15 July – Nanjing Automobile Group of China completes a takeover of bankrupt British carmaker MG Rover, and hopes to start producing cars at Longbridge from next year, with some production also taking place in China.
- 17 July – The Duchess of Cornwall is granted a Royal coat of arms by the Earl Marshal of the College of Arms.
- 21 July – Four attempted bomb attacks in London disrupt part of the capital's public transport. Small explosions occur around midday at Shepherd's Bush, Warren Street and Oval stations on London Underground, and on a bus in Bethnal Green. However, there are no injuries.
- 22 July
- 28 July
- The IRA orders an end to its armed campaign.
- F2 tornado hits Birmingham at about 14:40. 19 people are hurt, some seriously.
- 29 July – Two of the suspects of the attempted bombings in London on 21 July are arrested in north Kensington, the fourth is arrested in Rome.
- 11 August – British Airways grounds all flights as baggage handlers, loaders and bus drivers strike in support of 800 workers sacked by flight catering company Gate Gourmet. The strike is also affecting other airlines, causing chaos at London Heathrow Airport
- 12 August – The radical Islamic preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed is barred from returning to the UK after Home Secretary Charles Clarke cancels the indefinite leave to return Mohammed was given after claiming asylum in 1986.
- 20 August – The Ricoh Arena, a 32,500-seat multi purpose stadium in Coventry, is opened. Owned by the local council, Coventry City F.C. are its key tenants and it is also likely to be used as a concert venue. Japanese electrical goods manufacturer Ricoh purchased the stadium's naming rights in a multimillion-pound deal last year.
- 21 August – Victory over Japan Day: A service is held at London's Cenotaph to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the end of World War II. The Prince of Wales is in attendance, as are survivors of the Far East campaign.
- 12 September – England cricket team wins The Ashes.
- 14 September – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, announces that the government no longer recognises loyalist paramilitary group the Ulster Volunteer Force's ceasefire, due to the UVF's on-going feud with the Loyalist Volunteer Force, and recent violence against the police.
- 26 September – Head of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, general John de Chastelain announces in a Belfast press conference that the arsenal of the Provisional Irish Republican Army has been "put beyond use", including guns, ammunition, mortars and explosives.
- 29 September
- Livingston by-election results in Jim Devine holding the UK parliamentary seat for Labour though with a reduced majority in the face of a swing of 10.2% to the SNP.
- The High Court decides that Ian Huntley, serving life imprisonment for the double child murders at Soham three years ago, should serve at least 40 years in prison before being considered for parole. This ruling is set to keep Huntley behind bars until at least 2042 and the age of 68.
- 5 October – Three perpetrators of the racially motivated murder of Glasgow teenager Kriss Donald, arrive in Scotland to face trial after a one-off extradition agreement negotiated with Pakistan.
- 17–18 October – National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, designed by Wilkinson Eyre, opens.
- 17 October – The Conservative Party begin voting on a new leader following the resignation of Michael Howard, who has stepped down after two years as leader.
- 18 October – The landmark Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth opens. At 170 metres (560 ft) it is the tallest accessible structure in the UK outside London.
- 1 November – The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrive in the United States for a state visit, their first overseas tour since their marriage.
- 5 November – Britain's 400th Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated, 400 years to the day of the Gunpowder Plot.
- 9 November – The Government loses a key House of Commons vote on detaining terrorism suspects for 90 days without charge, in the report stage of the Terrorism Bill.
- 13 November – Andrew Stimpson, a 25-year-old man from Scotland, is reported as the first person proven to have been 'cured' of HIV.
- 21 November – Alfred Anderson, one of the last surviving First World War veterans and the oldest man in Scotland, dies at the age of 109. He was also the last known survivor of the 1914 Christmas truce. There are now only approximately 20 surviving British veterans of the conflict, all aged over 100 years.
- 24 November –
- 25 November – The footballing world mourns George Best, the legendary former Manchester United and Northern Ireland player who dies from multiple organ failure following a seven-week illness at the age of 59. Best, an alcoholic for more than 30 years, had been admitted to hospital in early October suffering from an infection brought on by anti-rejection drugs that he had been taking since a liver transplant in 2002.
- 30 November – Quadruple killer Mark Hobson loses a High Court appeal against his trial judge's recommendation that he should never be released from prison.
- 6 December – David Cameron, 39-year-old MP for Witney in Oxfordshire, is elected Leader of the Conservative Party, defeating David Davis.
- 10 December – Harold Pinter wins the Nobel Prize in Literature "who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms".
- 11 December – Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal fire: explosions tear through Buncefield oil storage facility located near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire.
- 12 December – New Conservative leader David Cameron's hopes of becoming the nation's next prime minister are boosted when an Ipsos MORI opinion poll puts his party two points ahead of Labour on 37%.
- 19 December – The Civil Partnership Act 2004 comes into force, granting same-sex couples similar legal rights to those of married heterosexuals. The first civil partnership in the United Kingdom under the normal application of the new rules is registered at Belfast City Hall between Shannon Sickles and Grainne Close. The first partnerships in Scotland are registered on 20 December and in England on 21 December
- 22 December – Tony Blair makes a surprise visit to British forces in Iraq.
- Summer – Guinness closes its Park Royal brewery in London.
- Internet access among the UK population has reached 70% (more than 40 million people).
- Paul McKenna's self-help book I Can Make You Thin.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Thud!.
- J. K. Rowling's novel Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
- Kazuo Ishiguro's novel Never Let Me Go.
- 26 March – Countess Luana of Orange-Nassau, Jonkvrouwe van Amsberg
- 16 June – Freddie Linsky, painter
Full date unknown
- Alma Deutscher, composer, pianist and violinist
- 2 January – Cyril Fletcher, comedian (born 1913)
- 14 January – Conroy Maddox, painter (born 1912)
- 20 January - Miriam Rothschild, English zoologist, entomologist, and author (born 1908)
- 15 March – Audrey Callaghan, Baroness of Cardiff and wife of former prime minister James Callaghan (born 1913)
- 26 March – James Callaghan, former Prime Minister (born 1912)
- 28 March –
- 16 April – Kay Walsh, actress and dancer (born 1911)
- 23 April – Sir John Mills, actor (born 1908)
- 12 May – Martin Lings, Islamic scholar (born 1909)
- 25 May – Robert Jankel, coachbuilder and vehicle designer (born 1938)
- 26 June – Richard Whiteley, television presenter and journalist (born 1943)
- 12 July - John Thorley, Welsh rugby union and rugby league footballer (born 1927)
- 17 July – Sir Edward Heath, former Prime Minister (born 1916)
- 19 July – John Tyndall, British fascist who was involved in the formation of both the National Front and the British National Party (born 1934)
- 21 July – Long John Baldry, blues singer (born 1941)
- 26 July – Betty Astell, actress (born 1912)
- 6 August – Robin Cook, former Foreign Secretary (born 1946)
- 19 August – Mo Mowlam, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (born 1949)
- 3 September – R. S. R. Fitter, naturalist and author, (born 1913)
- 8 September – Noel Cantwell, former footballer and football manager (born 1932 in Ireland)
- 23 September – Roger Brierley, actor (born 1935)
- 3 October – Ronnie Barker, comic actor (born 1929)
- 18 October – Johnny Haynes, former footballer (born 1934)
- 25 November – George Best, former footballer (born 1946)
- McGuinness, Ross (16 March 2009). "Metro". pp. 30, 31.
- Penguin Pocket on This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
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- "Knighthood for Microsoft's Gates". BBC News. 2 March 2005. Retrieved 3 May 2007.
- Waugh, Paul (16 March 2005). "One million blue collar jobs lost with Labour". Evening Standard. London. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
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- Extradited three arrive in Glasgow | Herald Scotland
- BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Glasgow and West | Kriss murder timeline
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- Skyscraper News
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- The first legal civil partnership took place on 5 December between Matthew Roche and Christopher Cramp at St Barnabas Hospice, Worthing, West Sussex. The statutory 15-day waiting period after giving notice was waived as Roche was suffering from a terminal illness: he died the following day. "'Gay wedding' man dies of cancer". BBC News. 6 December 2005. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
- Fabb, Debbie (23 November 2007). "Last orders for Guinness?". BBC News. Retrieved 16 September 2010.