2016 in the United Kingdom

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United Kingdom 2016 in the United Kingdom United Kingdom
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Events from the year 2016 in the United Kingdom. The major political events of this year were dominated by the European Union membership referendum and its aftermath (colloquially referred to as "Brexit").

Incumbents[edit]

Events[edit]

January[edit]

  • 2 January – rail fares in England, Scotland and Wales rise by 1.1%, in line with current inflation rates.[1]
  • 3 January – Islamic State militants release a video that depicts the killing of five men who it says were spying for Britain, and also threatened attacks in the UK.[2] The main figure in the video was subsequently believed to be Siddhartha Dhar, a British radical Islamist.[3]
  • 4 January
    • As strong winds and heavy rain continue to batter parts of Scotland, with more than 30 flood warnings issued by SEPA, the owner of historic Abergeldie Castle is forced to evacuate the 16th century tower house in Aberdeenshire after the River Dee sweeps away land behind the property, leaving it only a few feet from the water.[4]
    • It is announced that strikes for three days in January and February by junior doctors in England are back on after talks with the government break down.[5]
  • 6 January – Labour MPs Jonathan Reynolds and Stephen Doughty quit over the sacking of the shadow Europe minister Pat McFadden, after party leader Jeremy Corbyn reshuffles his shadow cabinet and makes controversial changes within his team.[6]
  • 9 January
    • Arthur Simpson-Kent, the partner of former EastEnders actress Sian Blake who was murdered alongside her two sons in December, is arrested in Ghana on suspicion of her murder.[7]
    • Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announces that every household, business or charity in the country directly affected by flood water will get a grant of £1,500.[8]
  • 11 January
  • 12 January – junior doctors in England providing non-emergency care strike for 24 hours in a dispute with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt over pay and working hours.[11]
  • 13 January – MPs give initial support to the idea of England adopting an official national anthem.[12]
  • 14 January
    • The gang of "brazen burglars" involved in the £14m Hatton Garden jewellery heist, dubbed the "largest burglary in English legal history", face jail after the final three are convicted of involvement.[13]
    • The Metropolitan Police announce that an extra 600 armed officers are to be trained and patrols more than doubled to help counter the threat of a terrorist attack in London.[14]
  • 15 January – Tim Peake conducts the first ever spacewalk by an "official" British astronaut, stepping outside an ISS airlock just after 13:00 GMT.[15]
  • 17 January – for the first time, the typical pay of a Scottish worker rises above those in England, according to a new study by the Resolution Foundation.[16]
  • 20 January – Unemployment rates fall to 5.1%, their lowest level in almost a decade, but figures show that wage growth has slowed.[17]
  • 21 January
    • An inquiry finds that the murder of British ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 in London was "probably" approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin.[18]
    • Figures show that murders and killings in England and Wales have increased to their highest level for five years, largely due to an abnormally high number of deaths in June when 75 people were killed.[19]
  • 22 January – Canadian singer Shawn Mendes scores his first UK number one with his single "Stitches", and at the age of 17 becomes the youngest male artist to top the charts since 2002.
  • 28 January – after three weeks of appeals, Camelot receive a "valid claim" for the record breaking £33m Lotto jackpot prize drawn on 9 January.[20]
  • 29 January – the last Land Rover Defender rolls off the production line at Solihull, ending 68 years of production.[21]

February[edit]

  • 1 February – scientists are given the go-ahead by regulators to genetically modify human embryos which were to be destroyed in seven days.[22]
  • 2 February – supermarket retailer Sainsbury's announces it will offer £1.3 billion to the home retailer Argos to win control over its home retail group.[23]
  • 3 February – the High Court gives permission for Lord Lucan to be declared dead, and for a death certificate to be issued 42 years after his disappearance.[24]
  • 6 February – Britain's most famous steam locomotive, the Flying Scotsman, returns to public service after a 10-year restoration project.[25]
  • 8 February – Storm Imogen hits Britain, causing thousands of power outages and structural damage across the country, along with disruption for many commuters.[26]
  • 10 February – junior doctors walk out in their second recent strike over Saturday working arrangements, causing disruption to medical services.[27]
  • 12 February
  • 13 February – all four members of British indie pop group, Viola Beach, along with the band's manager, are killed in a car crash in Sweden.[32]
  • 15 February – a Virgin Atlantic flight heading for New York City turns back to London Heathrow Airport after a laser beam is shone into the plane's cockpit and injures one of the co-pilots.[33]
  • 16 February – BBC Three becomes the first UK television network to become online only, having broadcast for its final night after 13 years as a television channel.[34]
  • 19 February – Royal Mail announce that the price of first class stamps will increase by one penny.[35]
  • 20 February – David Cameron announces that Britain will hold a referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union on 23 June.[36]
  • 21 February – Mayor of London Boris Johnson controversially announces he is to defy David Cameron, and campaign for the UK to leave the European Union.[37]
  • 22 February – the pound hits its lowest level against the dollar, falling down as much as 2.4%, in almost seven years amid concerns about a possible exit from the European Union.[38]
  • 23 February
    • A major incident is declared as one person dies, and three are left missing after an explosion at Didcot Power Station in Oxfordshire.[39]
    • Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey is admitted to hospital again for the third time after first contracting the virus in Sierra Leone in 2014.[40]
    • It is announced that the new Crossrail line in London will be called the "Elizabeth Line", after Queen Elizabeth II.[41]
  • 26 February

March[edit]

  • 4 March – MPs vote narrowly against abolishing God Save the Queen and replacing it with an England-only anthem at football and rugby matches involving England.[44]
  • 7 March
  • 9 March
    • Four of the gang of "brazen burglars" involved in the Hatton Garden jewellery heist are sentenced to seven years' imprisonment, while a fifth is given six years.[47]
    • Junior doctors strike for the third time over new contracts, with NHS England saying that more than 5,000 operations have been cancelled as a result.[48]
  • 11 March – the OECD warns that "Brexit" will be bad for the UK, Europe and the global marketplace as the organisation predicts the UK will cease to be as attractive a destination for inward investment if it leaves the EU.[49]
  • 15 March – a blaze damages the roof and upper floor of Wythenshawe Hall, a historic house in Greater Manchester.[50]
  • 16 March – Chancellor George Osborne announces the Budget for 2016 and the year ahead.[51]
  • 18 March – Iain Duncan Smith resigns as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions claiming that he came under pressure from the Treasury to "salami slice" welfare, and voicing his objection to £4bn of planned cuts to disability benefits announced in the Budget.[52] His resignation comes as the government signals its intention to retreat on the proposals.[53] Duncan Smith is succeeded in the post by Stephen Crabb.[54]
  • 19 March – England win the Six Nations Grand Slam—their first since 2003—after defeating France to become the 2016 champions.[55]
  • 20 March – five people from Derry in Northern Ireland are drowned after a car plunges into Lough Swilly off the pier at Buncrana in the Irish Republic.[56]
  • 21 March
    • Clayton Williams, the car thief who ran over and killed PC Dave Phillips in Merseyside in October 2015, is found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years in jail.[57]
    • Brian Reader, the ringleader in the Hatton Garden jewellery heist, and the last of the gang to be sentenced, is given more than six years in jail.[58]
  • 22 March – the Foreign Office warns against all but essential travel to Brussels, Belgium following three bombings in the city carried out by ISIL, in which at least two British people were injured. Security at airports, ports, Tube and major railway stations in the UK is stepped up as Prime Minister David Cameron warns of "a very real terror threat".[59][60]
  • 23 March – drivers on London Underground's Piccadilly line go on strike for 24 hours over "bullying".[61]
  • 25 March – the Foreign Office confirms that one Briton, David Dixon from Nottingham, was killed in the Brussels bombings on 22 March.[62]
  • 26 March – an investigation is launched after an audience member was injured by a chain that fell from production rigging during an Adele concert at Glasgow's SSE Hydro.[63]
  • 27 March – the Cambridge University men's rowing eight beat their Oxford counterparts to win the 162nd Boat Race, while in the women's race Cambridge are defeated by Oxford.[64]
  • 28 March – Storm Katie rips through parts of Britain through the Easter weekend and many parts of the country suffer damage. The storm causes disruption with many flights cancelled or diverted as a result.[65]
  • 29 March – British nationals are among passengers hijacked on Egypt Air Flight 181 by an Egyptian-born professor who was in a dispute over his ex-wife seeking asylum.[66]
  • 30 March – British steel maker Tata Steel reports that it will sell off its British operations in a move to save money, leaving many thousands of jobs at risk, including those at the large Port Talbot steelworks in Wales.[67]
  • 31 March – Prime Minister David Cameron and his fellow MPs cut short their spring break and return to the UK for an emergency meeting on the planned closure of the Tata Steel works.[68]

April[edit]

  • 1 April – a new national living wage comes into force in the United Kingdom, requiring employers to pay all workers over 25 years old at least £7.20 per hour.[69]
  • 2 April – Robin Knox-Johnson, founder of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, promises an investigation after a participant, 40-year-old Sarah Young from London, was washed overboard and killed while participating in the race.[70] Young, who died the previous day, will be buried at sea because of her boat's current distance from landfall.[71]
  • 3 April – Prime Minister David Cameron comes under scrutiny over tax havens after the leaking of the Panama Papers, which show British companies are using the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca to fund their offshore accounts and hide their tax funds from HMRC. Labour suggests direct rule over the British Overseas Territories if they do not comply with the existing tax laws.[72]
  • 6 April – the 2016 Dog Microchipping Legislation comes into force, requiring every dog in England, Scotland and Wales to be micro-chipped if they are over eight weeks old. (This law had already been introduced in Northern Ireland, in 2012).[73]
  • 7 April
    • A junior doctors' strike over pay disputes enters its second day, with over 5,000 operations and procedures being postponed.[74]
    • Prime Minister David Cameron, and his wife Samantha, admit that they owned shares in an offshore trust set up by Ian Cameron, David's late father, before selling them in 2010 for £30,000.[75]
  • 9 April – Rule The World, ridden by David Mullins and trained by Mouse Morris, wins the 2016 Grand National.[76]
  • 10 April – English golfer Danny Willett wins the 2016 Masters Tournament, the first time a Briton has won the tournament since Nick Faldo in 1996.[77]
  • 12 April
    • Prime Minister David Cameron comes out to say that wealth is 'not a dirty word' following the tax row over his earnings forcing him to reveal his financial affairs.[78]
    • A memorial service is held at Westminster Abbey for the British victims of the 2015 Sousse attacks, attended by the Prime Minister and Prince Harry.[79]
  • 13 April – Stoke Gifford Parish Council in Gloucestershire becomes the first council in the UK to charge runners who use one of its parks and those who participate in the weekly park fun run events.[80]
  • 14 April – in the final report following the Shoreham Airshow disaster in August 2015, the Civil Aviation Authority tightens the rules of all future airshows over safety fears.[81]
  • 15 April – the European Union membership referendum campaign gets underway in the UK as both sides prepare to persuade voters to decide whether they want to leave or remain in the EU when the referendum takes place in June.[82]
  • 16 April – thousands of people take part in a protest against austerity cuts in central London, including the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell.[83]
  • 17 April – archaeologists record the well-preserved remains of a Roman villa at Brixton Deverill in Wiltshire, which had previously been noticed when a homeowner, while digging to lay electric cables, accidentally discovered the remains on his land in February 2015.[84]
  • 18 April
    • Thousands, including several celebrities, turn up to pay their final respects to the late comedian Ronnie Corbett at his funeral at Shirley in south London.[85]
    • It is confirmed that at least one Briton, 33-year-old nun Sister Clare Theresa Crockett from Derry in Northern Ireland, was killed in the 2016 Ecuador earthquake.[86]
  • 21 April – Queen Elizabeth II marks her 90th birthday.
  • 22 April – the Bank of England announces that artist William Turner is to appear on the reverse of the English £20 note in 2020.[87]
  • 25 April
  • 26 April
    • A jury at a coroner's court in Warrington declares that the victims of the Hillsborough disaster of 1989 were unlawfully killed.[90]
    • Junior doctors go on strike again, this time including those providing emergency care for the first time.[91]
    • The British menswear retailer Austin Reed files for administration, putting 1,200 jobs at risk.[92]
  • 27 April – Naz Shah, the Labour MP for Bradford West, is suspended from the Party after making disparaging comments about Israel on Facebook.[93]
  • 28 April
  • 29 April
    • Philip Hammond becomes the first UK Foreign Secretary to visit Cuba since 1959, where he says he is "keen to forge links".[96]
    • British police state their belief that Madeleine McCann was abducted during a botched robbery, and may still be alive.[97]
    • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announces the launch of an independent inquiry into allegations of anti-Semitism within the party.[98]

May[edit]

June[edit]

July[edit]

August[edit]

September[edit]

October[edit]

November[edit]

December[edit]

Publications[edit]

Deaths[edit]

January[edit]

Matt Hobden (1993–2016)
David Bowie (1947–2016) in 2002
Alan Rickman (1946–2016), acclaimed stage and screen actor, in 2011
Black (1962–2016)
Sir Terry Wogan (1938–2016) at his investiture in 2005

February[edit]

Sir Christopher Zeeman (1925–2016) in 2009
Eric Lubbock, 4th Baron Avebury (1928–2016) in 2006
Eric Brown (1919–2016) in 2015

March[edit]

Sir George Martin (1926–2016), often referred to as the "Fifth Beatle", in 2006
Keith Emerson (1944–2016)
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (1934–2016) in 2012
Paul Daniels (1938–2016), a world renowned magician and television performer, in 2013
Ronnie Corbett (1930–2016), acclaimed for his work on The Two Ronnies with comedy partner Ronnie Barker
Denise Robertson (1932–2016), dubbed "the best agony aunt in the business"

April[edit]

Motorcyclist Martin Lampkin (1950–2016) at the Trial Sant Llorenç in 1978
Howard Marks (1945–2016) in 2000
Sir Arnold Wesker (1932–2016) at the Durham Book Festival in 2008
Victoria Wood (1953–2016) in Laos
Sir Harry Kroto (1939–2016) in 2010

May[edit]

Chris Mitchell (1988–2016) in 2009
Sally Brampton (1955–2016) discussing depression in 2010
Joe Temperley (1929–2016) (left) performing with Gary Smulyan in 2005
David Rendel (1949–2016) at the Newbury declaration during the 2005 general election

June[edit]

Sir Tom Kibble (1932–2016)
Dave Swarbrick (1941–2016) in 2006
Henry McCullough (1943–2016) in 2008

July[edit]

Michael Beaumont (1927–2016) in 2012
Michael J. Elliott (1951–2016) in 2008
Eric Kuhne (1951–2016) in 2007

August[edit]

6th Duke of Westminster (1951–2016) in 1997
Kenny Baker (1934–2016) in 2005
Dalian Atkinson (1968–2016) in 2008
Dame Margaret Anstee (1926–2016) in Honduras in 2002

September[edit]

Sylvia Gore (1944–2016) in 2015
Hidayat Inayat Khan (1917–2016) in 2004

October[edit]

Sir Neville Marriner (1924–2016) in Barcelona in 2010
Andrew Vicari (1932–2016) in 2007
Pete Burns (1959–2016) performing in Liverpool in 2008
Jimmy Perry (1923–2016) in 2011

November[edit]

Bap Kennedy (1962–2016) in 2009
David Hamilton (1933–2016) in 2012
Andrew Sachs (1930–2016), best known for playing Manuel in Fawlty Towers, in 2004

December[edit]

Greg Lake (1947–2016) in 2005
Bernard Fox (1927–2016) in the film Hogan's Heroes
Richard Adams (1920–2016), author of Watership Down, in 2008
Rick Parfitt (1948–2016) in Sweden in 2007
George Michael (1963–2016) in 1988

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]