2018 in the United Kingdom

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Events from the year 2018 in the United Kingdom.

Incumbents

Events

January

  • 1 January
  • 2 January – Rail passengers face their biggest price increase for five years, with average tickets rising in cost by 3.4%.[3]
  • 2–4 January – Storm Eleanor causes widespread disruption across the UK, with flooding and gusts of wind reaching 100mph (161 km/h).[4]
  • 3 January – The NHS in England cancels all non-urgent treatments from mid-January until the end of the month, as reports emerge of patients facing long waits for treatment and being stuck on trolleys in corridors and of ambulances left queuing outside A&E.[5]
  • 5 January – Jon Venables, one of the killers of toddler James Bulger in 1993, is charged with possessing indecent images of children.[6]
  • 8 January – Theresa May announces a Cabinet reshuffle.[7]
  • 9 January –
    • The manufacture of cosmetics and personal care products with plastic microbeads is banned in England, with a ban on their sale due to come into force by July 2018.[8]
    • Virgin Trains announces it has stopped selling copies of the Daily Mail on its West Coast trains following "considerable concern [about] the Mail's editorial position on issues such as immigration, LGBT rights and unemployment".[9]
  • 11 January – Theresa May pledges to eradicate all "avoidable" plastic waste throughout the UK by 2042.[10]
  • 12 January
  • 15 January – Carillion, the UK's second-largest construction company, goes into liquidation with debts of £1,500,000,000.[13]
  • 16 January – Supermarket chain Iceland announces that it will end the use of plastic for its own-brand products by the end of 2023.[14][15]
  • 17 January
  • 18 January – Scotland Yard said that American actor Kevin Spacey is being investigated over a third accusation of sexual assault, dating from 2005.[18]
  • 20 January – A 54-year-old man is arrested after a "domestic incident", during which an eight-year-old girl is stabbed to death in Brownhills, near Walsall.[19]
  • 21 January – The UK Independence Party's National Executive Committee (NEC) delivers a vote of no confidence in its leader, Henry Bolton, following a recent controversy involving his girlfriend.[20]
  • 22 January – Buckingham Palace announces that Princess Eugenie of York is to marry her long-term boyfriend Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in the autumn.[21]
  • 23 January – Rupert Murdoch’s £11,700,000,000 bid to take full control of Sky is provisionally blocked by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).[22]
  • 24 January – Sir Elton John announces that he is to retire from touring after nearly fifty years.[23]
  • 25 January
    • Industry body Water UK announces that all shops, cafés and businesses in England will provide free water refill points in every major city and town by 2021.[24]
    • The number of rough sleepers in England reaches its highest level since records began – an estimated 4,751.[25]
  • 26 January
    • A water main in the west London district of Hammersmith bursts, flooding the area's main shopping street, King Street.[26]
    • Three teenage boys on their way to a sixteenth birthday party are killed when a car mounts a pavement in Hayes, West London. Police arrest a 28-year-old man on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.[27] A second, 34-year-old man, who fled the scene, later hands himself in to police.[28]
  • 30 January
    • A leaked government paper shows that Brexit will damage the UK economy no matter what kind of deal is agreed, with up to 8% of GDP growth lost within fifteen years.[29]
    • Chris Parker, a homeless man who stole from victims of the Manchester Arena bomb attack, is jailed for four years and three months.[30]
  • 31 January
    • Shares in government contractor Capita plunge more than 40% after the company issues a profit warning.[31]
    • Another water main bursts in West London, this time in Shepherd's Bush, flooding Goldhawk Road, one of the main streets in the area.[32]

February

  • 2 February – Finsbury Park Mosque attacker Darren Osborne, who drove a van into a group of Muslims, is jailed for life, with a minimum term of 43 years.[33]
  • 5 February – Downing Street insists that the UK will leave the EU customs union after Brexit, amid claims of Tory disunity over the future UK-EU relationship.[34]
  • 7 February
    • The chief constable of Police Scotland, Phil Gormley, resigns amid a series of investigations into claims of gross misconduct.[35]
    • Jon Venables, one of the killers of toddler James Bulger, is jailed for possessing child abuse images for a second time.[36]
    • Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, backs a ruling by the High Court that victims of the serial sex offender John Worboys can challenge in court the parole board’s decision to release him from prison.[37]
  • 8 February – NHS hospitals in England record their worst ever A&E performance, with only 77.1% of patients treated within four hours in January, far short of the 95% target.[38]
  • 9 February
  • 17 February
  • 20 February – Brexit secretary David Davis states that Britain will not be "plunged into a Mad Max-style world borrowed from dystopian fiction" after it leaves the EU and suggests a Brexit deal by the end of 2018 is "well on the cards".[43]
  • 21 February
  • 22 February – The 2018 UK higher education strike began at sixty-four UK universities over proposed changes to the USS pension scheme.[46]
  • 23 February – Stephen Fry announces that he has been treated for a particularly aggressive form of prostate cancer and has had eleven lymph nodes removed.[47]
  • 25 February – Five people die in an explosion at a shop in Leicester.[48]
  • 26 February – Jeremy Corbyn announces that Labour would negotiate "full tariff-free" access to EU markets for UK businesses after Brexit in March 2019.[49]
  • 27 February
  • 27 February – 4 March – Heavy snow causes disruption across much of the UK.[53] Over subsequent days the Met Office issues the first ever red snow warning for Scotland,[54] South-West England and South Wales, meaning the weather poses a potential risk to life.[55] With ten severe weather warnings in place, the Army is called in to help rescue hundreds of stranded motorists.[56] Several people are reported to have died in circumstances related to the freezing conditions.[57] As temperatures later begin rising and ice thaws, the Environment Agency issues weather warnings due to flooding, mainly in the South-West and North-East England.[58]
  • 28 February
    • The UK's largest toy retailer, Toys "R" Us, goes into administration with a £15,000,000 VAT bill it is unable to pay.[59]
    • One of the UK's biggest electronics retailers, Maplin, goes into administration after talks with potential buyers fail to secure a sale.[60]
    • An earthquake of magnitude 3.2 and depth of 4km hits Mosser, Cumbria. It was felt in Grasmere, Kendal, Cockermouth and Keswick and was the second earthquake to hit the United Kingdom within two weeks.[61]

March

  • 1 March
  • 4 March – Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia are poisoned with a publicly unidentified nerve agent in Salisbury.[65] They are brought to hospital in critical condition, along with a police officer who was first on the scene. Counter-terrorism police investigate amid speculation the Kremlin was behind the incident.[66]
  • 5 March
    • After the recent cold spell, homes across the UK have water supply problems and thousands of people in Wales and South-East England are urged to use as little as possible.[67]
    • A Sinn Fein delegation meets the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels about the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland due to Brexit.[68]
    • The sale of energy drinks to under-sixteens is banned by most UK supermarkets due to high levels of sugar and caffeine.[69]
  • 6 March – Ex-UKIP leader Henry Bolton announces he will create a new political party called "OneNation" that would "campaign unceasingly for our full independence from the EU", and "mirror some of the changes that I sought to bring to UKIP".[70]
  • 7 March
  • 11 March – Following the events of 4 March, up to 500 pub-goers and diners in Salisbury are told to wash possessions after traces of a nerve agent are found.[74]
  • 12 March
  • 13 March
  • 14 March
    • Stephen Hawking, world-renowned theoretical physicist, author, and cosmologist, dies at his home in Cambridge, aged 76.[81]
    • A think tank warns that taxes will need to rise by £40,000,000,000 by the mid-2020s.[82]
    • It is reported that all "Toys R Us" stores in the UK will close within six weeks following the chain's collapse into administration in February and its failure to find a buyer.[83]
    • The government calls for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal on 4 March. Theresa May announces that 23 Russian diplomats will be expelled from the UK after Russia fails to respond to claims of involvement.[84]
  • 15 March
    • Following the events of 4 March, Theresa May visits Salisbury. In a joint statement, the leaders of the UK, US, France and Germany say the ex-spy poisoning was the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War, and that Russian involvement is the "only plausible explanation".[85]
    • The Space Industry Act 2018 becomes law, giving UK spaceports the legal framework to function.[86]
  • 17–19 March – Heavy snow affects much of the UK. It is dubbed the "mini beast from the east"; a sequel to the previous cold wave at the start of the month. On 17 March, amber weather warnings are issued for North-West England, Yorkshire, the Midlands, London and South-East England.[87] On 18 March, they are issued for South-West England, South-East England, mid-Wales and the West Midlands.[88] Dozens of vehicles were stuck overnight on the A30 in Devon whilst two weather warnings remained still in place for much of the UK after wintry showers disrupted many parts of Britain.[89]
  • 17 March – A 21-year-old man is arrested and charged with attempted murder after driving a Suzuki Vitara into the Blake's nightclub at Gravesend, Kent, injuring thirteen people.[90]
  • 18–19 March – Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson dismisses claims from Russian EU ambassador, Vladimir Chizhov, who said that Porton Down may have been the source of the nerve agent. It is reported that experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will arrive on 19 March to test samples of the substance.[91]
  • 18 March – TV presenter Ant McPartlin is arrested for drink driving after a car crash in Richmond, London.[92]
  • 19 March
  • 20 March
    • Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg receives a formal request from the UK Government to answer questions regarding Cambridge Analytica and the "catastrophic failure of process" behind the data breach.[98][99]
    • The board of Cambridge Analytica suspends CEO Alexander Nix with immediate effect, pending a full and independent investigation.[100]
  • 21 March – Following eight years of the austerity programme, a pay rise is agreed for 1,300,000 NHS staff, with minimum increases of at least 6.5% over three years and some people getting as much as 29%.[101]
  • 22 March
    • Martin Sutherland, CEO of De La Rue announces that Gemalto has won a £490,000,000 contract to create post-Brexit UK passports in France.[102]
    • The Bank of England keeps UK interest rates at 0.5%, but hints that it will raise them to 0.75% in May.[103]
  • 23 March
  • 24 March – Plaid Cymru announces that if elected, they will hold an independence referendum for Wales by 2030.[107]
  • 25 March
    • The first scheduled direct flight from Australia to the UK—Qantas Flight QF9 from Perth—lands at London's Heathrow Airport after a seventeen-hour flight and 9,009 miles in the air.[108]
    • Brexit activist Shahmir Sanni claims the Vote Leave campaign used the group BeLeave to exceed legal spending limits.[109]
  • 27 March – A former Cambridge Analytica worker, Christopher Wylie, speaking to a House of Commons select committee, claims the EU referendum was won through fraud and breach of legal spending limits.[110]
  • 28 March
    • The UK Government announces that consumers in England will soon pay a deposit when they buy drinks bottles and cans in a bid to boost recycling and cut waste, but consumers will get the money back if they return the container.[111]
    • The High Court overturns the Parole Board's decision to grant parole to convicted rapist John Worboys after two of his victims launched a legal challenge. The decision comes as the chair of the Board, Nick Hardwick, tenders his resignation.[112]
    • General Sir Nicholas Carter is named as the new Chief of the Defence Staff.[113]
    • Thousands, including several celebrities, turn up to pay their final respects to the late comedian, Sir Ken Dodd at his funeral at Liverpool Cathedral. Dodd died on 11 March at his lifelong home in Knotty Ash at the age of 90, following a chest infection.[114]
  • 29 March – Christine Shawcroft resigns from the Labour Party's Disputes Sub-Committee.[115]
  • 31 March

April

May

June

  • 1 June – The Met Office confirms that May 2018 was the warmest May since records began in 1910 and was also likely to be the sunniest since 1929.[189]
  • 3 June – A leaked Whitehall report, published by the Sunday Times, predicts shortages of food, fuel and medicine if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.[190]
  • 5 June – The government approves a controversial plan for a third runway at Heathrow Airport.[191]
  • 6 June – A major fire damages the five-star Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge, a week after "the most extensive restoration in its 115-year history" was completed. Plumes of black smoke are visible across London.[192]
  • 7 June
    • Department store chain House of Fraser announces the closure of 31 stores affecting 6,000 jobs, which includes its flagship store in Oxford Street, London. It will stay open until early 2019.[193]
    • Human rights campaigners lose a Supreme Court appeal over the legality of Northern Ireland's abortion law, but a majority of judges say the existing law was incompatible with human rights law in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and sexual crime.[194]
    • The government publishes its new 'backstop' plan for post-Brexit Northern Ireland, with an expected end date of 2021.[195][196]
  • 8 June
    • Scottish drinks company Highland Spring announces that it will become the first UK water brand to introduce and trial a 100% recycled bottle in a bid to cut ocean pollution.[197]
    • Buzzfeed publishes a leaked recording of Boris Johnson at a private dinner of Conservative activists, during which he praises U.S. President Donald Trump, warns that Brexit is heading for "meltdown" and says "I don’t want anybody to panic during the meltdown. No panic. Pro bono publico, no bloody panic. It’s going to be all right in the end."[198]
  • 9 June
  • 10 June – Documents obtained by The Observer show that Leave.EU co-founder Arron Banks had multiple meetings with high-ranking Russian officials in the run-up to the Brexit referendum, despite his repeated denials of any involvement with them.[201]
  • 12 June – Philip Lee, a remain-supporting justice minister, resigns in order to "better speak up for my constituents and country over how Brexit is currently being delivered."[202]
  • 13 June
    • A study from The Mammal Society and Natural England says that almost one in five British mammals are at risk of extinction, which includes the red squirrel, wildcat, and grey long-eared bat. All have been put on a "red list" for wild mammals due to climate change, loss of habitat, overuse of pesticides and disease.[203]
    • By 327 votes to 126, the House of Commons rejects a Lords amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill, which had attempted to keep the UK in the European Economic Area after Brexit. Other changes made to the bill are also overturned, including a requirement to negotiate a customs union with the EU.[204]
  • 14 June
    • On the first year anniversary of the Grenfell fire disaster, the tower is illuminated green along with 12 other buildings across West London and Downing Street at 00:54 BST. A vigil takes place at a close-by, where the names of the dead are announced at 01:30 BST, while a minute's silence takes place at midday.[205]
    • Rolls-Royce announces it will cut 4,600 jobs over the next two years as part of a major reorganisation.[206]
    • The Lewisham East by-election is held, with Labour winning the vote, but with a significantly reduced majority.
  • 15 June
    • A bill that would make upskirting a criminal offence is blocked in the House of Commons by Tory MP Sir Christopher Chope. He faces criticism from those within his own party, including Theresa May.[207]
    • At around 23:20 BST, the Macintosh building at the Glasgow School of Art is gutted by another huge fire, four years after part of the same building was destroyed by fire. The fire spreads to close-by buildings, including the Campus nightclub and O2 ABC music venue, which suffers "extensive damage". The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service reports no casualties.[208]
    • Two people are arrested on suspicion of arson after a former nightclub and the Bethel Church in Newport, Wales are both gutted in a fire.[209]
  • 17 June – The government announces an extra £20bn for the NHS by 2023, a budget increase of 3.4% a year.[210] However, this is less than the average 3.7% the NHS had over the previous 70 years. The plan is also criticised by former Treasury officials, who cast doubt on the idea of a "Brexit dividend" and say the extra public spending will require higher taxes or public borrowing.[211]
  • 19 June
    • It becomes illegal in England and Scotland to sell rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products that contain microbeads.[212]
    • The government announces a review into the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.[213]
  • 20 June
    • Theresa May condemns the forced separation of migrant children from their parents in the US, but dismisses calls to cancel President Donald Trump's visit to the UK.[214]
    • A rebellion by Conservative MPs is defeated, as the House of Commons votes by 319 to 303 against a "meaningful vote", which could have given MPs the power to stop Britain leaving the EU without a deal.[215][216]
  • 22 June – Airbus warns that it could leave the UK under a "no deal" scenario with the European Union.[217] On the same day, BMW joins them warning of the adverse consequences of Brexit.[218]
  • 23 June – Around 100,000 anti-Brexit campaigners march through central London demanding a final vote on any UK exit deal. The organisers, People's Vote, say that Brexit is "not a done deal" and people must "make their voices heard", whilst James McGrory from pressure group Open Britain says there should be "a choice between leaving with the deal that the government negotiates, or staying in the European Union".[219]
  • 24 June

July

August

September

October

November

  • 11 November – All the church bells in the United Kingdom are to ring in unison to mark the one-hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War.[227]

December

Publications

Births

Deaths

January

February

March

April

May

June

Private Bill Speakman

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  402. ^ Iles, Marc (5 June 2018). "Ex-Bolton, Cardiff and Bury star Williams dead at 76". The Bolton News. 
  403. ^ [https://www.racingpost.com/news/latest/cheltenham-gold-cup-winner-and-jumps-legend-denman-dies-aged-18/334225 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero
  404. ^ Zwart, Josianne (7 June 2018). "Teddy Johnson (United Kingdom 1959) passed away at age 98". Eurovision TV. 
  405. ^ "Former England rugby player dies at 103". BBC News. 6 June 2018. 
  406. ^ Elliott, Francis (7 June 2018). "Mary Wilson, widow of former prime minister Harold Wilson, dies aged 102". The Times. 
  407. ^ "Peter Stringfellow: Nightclub owner dies aged 77". BBC News. BBC. 7 June 2018. 
  408. ^ "Geoff Gunney MBE Passes Away Aged 83". hunsletrlfc.com. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018. 
  409. ^ "'First Bond girl' Eunice Gayson dies". BBC News. 9 June 2018. 
  410. ^ "Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan dies, aged 68". Loudersound. 
  411. ^ "Former Glasgow Council leader Pat Lally dies aged 92". STV News. 
  412. ^ "Dr Thomas Stuttaford obituary". The Times. 12 June 2018. 
  413. ^ "Former Lord Provost George Grubb dies". 11 June 2018. 
  414. ^ "Former England international Stan Anderson dies aged 85". 
  415. ^ "Colosseum founder Jon Hiseman dies aged 73". 
  416. ^ "Leslie Grantham: EastEnders' Dirty Den dies aged 71". BBC News. BBC. 15 June 2018. 
  417. ^ "D. Nicholas Rudall, Founding Artistic Director of Court Theatre, Dies at 78 News D. Nicholas Rudall, Founding Artistic Director of Court Theatre, Dies at 78". PerformInk. 19 June 2018. 
  418. ^ "Playwright Frank Vickery dies after short illness". BBC News. BBC. 19 June 2018. 
  419. ^ "Love Island star Sophie Gradon dead aged 32". Sky News. 21 June 2018. 
  420. ^ Bayliss, Jake; Turner, Andy (21 June 2018). "Coventry City 'donkey kick' legend dies aged 75". Coventry Telegraph. 
  421. ^ Prior, David (21 June 2018). "Altrincham's great war hero and the first person to receive the Victoria Cross from the Queen, dies aged 90". Altrincham Today. 
  422. ^ "Professor Eric Stanley". Pembroke College Oxford. 21 June 2018. 
  423. ^ Steele, Russell (24 June 2018). "Former Morton chairman Douglas Rae has died". Greenock Telegraph. 
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