2015 in the United Kingdom

United Kingdom 2015 in the United Kingdom United Kingdom
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Sport, television and music

Events from the year 2015 in the United Kingdom.

Incumbents

Events

January

February

  • 2 February – London's population hits a record high of 8,600,000 which it hasn't seen since the beginning of the Second World War in 1939, and is forecast to reach 11,000,000 people by 2050.[37]
  • 3 February – MPs approve a controversial new technique to allow babies created from three people. If passed by the House of Lords, the UK will become the first country in the world to offer this medical procedure.[38]
  • 4 February
  • 5 February – former pop star Gary Glitter is found guilty of sexually abusing three young girls between 1975–1980.[41]
  • 6 February
    • Huge changes to England's NHS in recent years have been "disastrous" and distracted from patient care, a report by the King's Fund says.[42]
    • The Investigatory Powers Tribunal rules that GCHQ breached human rights laws by failing to disclose shared full details of information it shared with the United States that was garnered from data from mass internet surveillance.[43]
  • 9 February – a child and three adults are killed whilst four others are left seriously injured after a tipper truck crashes down a hill in Bath.[44] An investigation is launched.[45]
  • 11 February – the government announces a review into road regulations and maintenance checks in preparation for driverless car technology.[46]
  • 13 February
  • 14 February – four people are killed following two separate accidents on major motorways; three die after a coach collides with a stationary car on the M1 and one person dies in a forty vehicle pileup on the M40.[50]
  • 16 February – a study by King's College London indicates an increased risk of psychosis among those who smoke potent cannabis.[51]
  • 17 February
    • Consumer price inflation fell to 0.3% in January, according to latest official figures, its lowest level since records began.[52]
    • Abid Naseer, a man who plotted a terrorist attack on a shopping centre in Manchester in 2009, which would have reportedly only come second to the September 11 attacks in its impact, stands on trial in the United States.[53]
    • Five Britons are amongst the 100 Mars One applicants shortlisted for a one-way trip to Mars to become the first humans to set foot on the planet.[54]
  • 18 February – the Metropolitan Police says it will examine video footage appearing to show fans of Chelsea football club preventing a black man from boarding a train on the Paris Metro.[55]
  • 20 February – police appeal for help after it is feared that three London schoolgirls who have gone missing, are travelling to Turkey with the intention of crossing the border into Syria and joining a terror group ISIL.[56]
  • 21 February – the government pledges Β£300,000,000 for tackling dementia, aiming to become a "world leader" in research with a global fund to produce new treatments by 2025.[57][58]
  • 24 February – Conservative MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind resigns as Chair of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, and announces he will vacate his seat at the general election, following a cash for access scandal.[59]
  • 26 February
  • 27 February – following his guilty verdict on 5 February, former pop star Gary Glitter is sentenced to sixteen year's imprisonment.[62]

March

  • 3 March – disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris is stripped of his British honours.
  • 4 March – the stepbrother of sixteen-year-old Becky Watts, a schoolgirl reported missing two weeks previously, is charged with her murder after body parts are found at a house in Barton Hill, Bristol.[63]
  • 5 March – David Cameron is accused of "cowering" from the public as he confirms that he will only take part in one televised debate ahead of the general election, rejecting proposals for a head-to-head with Labour leader Ed Miliband.[64]
  • 6 March
    • A thirteen-year-old boy pleads guilty to the murder of 53-year-old Christopher Barry who was fatally stabbed in Edmonton, London, in December.[65]
    • The UK's major broadcasters confirm they will press ahead with plans for three televised debates, even though David Cameron said he would only participate in one of them.[66]
  • 7 March
    • Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg says he will take David Cameron's place in the forthcoming television debates, if Cameron is unwilling to participate.[67]
    • A pitch invasion by Aston Villa fans temporarily halts the club's FA Cup quarter-final match against West Bromwich Albion. Several fans run onto the pitch during stoppage time to prematurely celebrate Villa's 2–0 victory over West Brom, forcing referee Anthony Taylor to stop the game until order is restored, before hundreds of fans then invade the pitch on the final whistle. The incident will be investigated by the Football Association.[68][69]
  • 8 March – Ed Miliband says that a future Labour government would introduce legislation to make televised debates a permanent feature of future general election campaigns, meaning politicians could not attempt to prevent them from taking place out of self-interest.[70]
  • 9 March
    • The U.K. Government finally pays off War Loan bonds, originally introduced to consolidate debt incurred in fighting World War I.[71]
    • Thendara Satisfaction, an Irish setter who competed at this year's Crufts, dies after being supposedly poisoned at the Birmingham show.[72] Organisers of the event say sabotage will not be tolerated, after rumours that various other dogs were also poisoned this year.[73]
  • 10 March
    • Queen Elizabeth II names the new luxury cruise ship Britannia, the largest ever cruise ship designed for the British holiday market.[74]
    • TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson is suspended from Top Gear, one of the BBC's most popular and profitable shows, after a "fracas" with a producer. The remainder of the series will be scrapped, the BBC says.[75][76]
  • 11 March – the government announces the first NHS patients to be diagnosed through genome sequencing.[77]
  • 13 March – following his guilty verdict on 13 February, former TV weather presenter Fred Talbot is sentenced to five years in prison.[78]
  • 17 March
    • Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield admits that his failure to shut a tunnel to football terraces was the direct cause of ninety-six deaths at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.[79]
    • David Cameron confirms he has accepted an offer from the major broadcasters to participate in a seven-way televised debate at the beginning of April. However, the full details of this are yet to be confirmed.[80]
  • 19 March – one Briton is confirmed to be amongst the twenty-one victims killed in the ISIL backed Bardo National Museum shootings in the Tunisian capital, Tunis.[81]
  • 20 March
    • A partial solar eclipse occurs, ranging from 85% totality in London and southern England to 98% totality in northern Scotland.[82]
    • UKIP MEP and general election candidate Janice Atkinson is suspended from the UK Independencd Party after a member of her staff tried to overcharge EU expenses for a restaurant bill. The incident emerges as another UKIP election candidate, Stephen Howe, is suspended amid harassment allegations, and a third, Jonathan Stanley, resigns from the party because of what he alleges to be its "open racism and sanctimonious bullying."[83]
  • 21 March – the UK's major broadcasters say they have agreed to hold a seven-party televised leaders debate on 2 April, which will be staged by ITV and chaired by Julie Etchingham. However, there will be no head-to-head between David Cameron and Ed Miliband, with them instead taking part in a separate question and answer session aired jointly by Sky News and Channel 4 on 26 March. A debate featuring five opposition leaders will air on BBC One on 16 April.[84]
  • 22 March – membership of the Scottish National Party officially crosses the 100,000 mark, meaning that one in every fifty of the Scottish population is now a member.[85]
  • 23 March
    • Afzal Amin, the Conservative candidate for Dudley North, resigns from the party after being accused of allegedly conspiring with the English Defence League to win votes.[86]
    • David Cameron tells BBC News he will not serve a third term as Prime Minister if the Conservatives are reelected to govern again.[87]
    • Janice Atkinson is expelled from UKIP for "bringing the party into disrepute".[88]
  • 24 March – UK inflation fell to zero percent in February, the lowest level since records began, according to official figures.[89]
  • 25 March
    • It is confirmed that three Britons were among those killed when an Airbus A320 crashed into the French Alps the previous day, with no survivors.[90]
    • Following a two-week investigation into a verbal and physical attack on producer Oisin Tymon, the BBC confirms that Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has been sacked from the programme.[91]
  • 26 March – order of succession to the British throne changed to absolute primogeniture.
  • 29 March – police are investigating alleged death threats against BBC Director-General Tony Hall over the decision to sack Jeremy Clarkson from his Top Gear presenting role.[92]

April

  • 1 April – English Heritage begins to operate as a charitable trust to manage the nation's portfolio of historic properties, while Historic England is formed to take on its previous functions in statutory planning, advice on and protection of the historic built environment.
  • April – the only televised leaders debate to include Prime Minister David Cameron is aired by ITV. The debate features the leaders of the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, the Greens, the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru.[93]
  • 2–7 April – an estimated Β£200,000,000 worth of jewels are stolen from Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd, Hatton Garden central London, in a meticulously-planned heist that takes place over the Easter bank holiday weekend.[94][95] CCTV footage later emerges, at the website of UK newspaper the Daily Mirror, showing the thieves dressed as building workers and using wheelie bins.
  • 10 April – police are investigating after it emerged that they received an emergency call from the scene of the Hatton Garden safety deposit raid, but decided not to respond.[96]
  • 11 April
  • 16 April – the Crown Prosecution Service issues a statement indicating that Labour peer Greville Janner will not face prosecution over allegations of child sexual abuse owing to his poor health.[100][101]
  • 21 April – following a six-week trial, Justin Robertson is jailed for life with a minimum tariff of thirty-two years for the September 2014 contract killing of Pennie Davis at the behest of her stepson. Benjamin Carr, who paid Robertson Β£1,500 to carry out the killing, is convicted of conspiracy to murder and will serve at least thirty years.[102]
  • 22 April – supermarket retailer Tesco posts a record Β£6,400,000,000 annual loss for the year ending in February 2015.[103]
  • 26 April
    • More than 38,000 people take part in this year's London Marathon, making it the biggest in the event's thirty-five-year history.[104]
    • The government donates Β£5,000,000 and humanitarian aid to help people affected by the recent earthquake in Nepal, which killed over 6,000 people.[105]
  • 27 April
  • 28 April – figures show that the rate of economic growth halved to 0.3% in the first quarter, marking the slowest quarterly growth in two years.[108]
  • 29 April
    • The UK Supreme Court rules that the government must take immediate action to cut air pollution,[109] following a case brought by lawyers at ClientEarth.[110]
    • Eighteen-year-old Kazi Islam, who was inspired by the murder of Lee Rigby, is convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey of grooming a vulnerable friend to kill two soldiers, and buying ingredients for a pipe bomb.[111]
    • The Foreign Office confirms that a Briton living overseas was among the 6,000 victims killed in the Nepal earthquake, and it is feared that another British national has been killed at the Everest Base Camp.[112]
    • A blaze causes extensive damage at Clandon Park, a stately home in Surrey.[113]
  • 30 April – the three main political party leaders, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, take part in the final televised debate before the general election on a special edition of Question Time.[114]

May

  • 2 May – Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to a daughter at St Mary's Hospital in London who becomes fourth in line to the throne and Queen Elizabeth II's fifth great-grandchild.[115] She is subsequently named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.[116]
  • 7 May
    • The 2015 general election takes place, resulting in the Conservative Party winning an outright majority with 331 seats, and securing David Cameron a second term in office. Meanwhile, in Scotland, a huge surge to the Scottish National Party sees the party win fifty-six of the fifty-nine Scottish seats available, an increase of fifty seats compared to their 2010 total. The Labour Party wins 232 seats across the UK, with modest gains in England more than offset by heavy losses in Scotland, while the Liberal Democrats are almost wiped out with just eight of their previous fifty-seven seats remaining.[117][118]
    • Local elections also take place in 279 councils across England, with the Conservatives gaining 25 councils to control 130 overall, the Labour Party lose four seats, leaving them with 67 councils, while the Liberal Democrats lose four to control three councils.[119]
  • 8 May
    • Commemorations are held to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of VE Day, the end of World War II on the continent.[120]
    • Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage, the three respective leaders of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the UK Independence Party, all announce their resignations in the wake of their electoral defeats.[121][122][123] Farage's resignation is subsequently rejected after "overwhelming evidence" that members of his party disagreed with his decision to quit.[124]
  • 13 May – figures show that unemployment fell to 1,830,000 in the first quarter, a 35,000 decrease from the last quarter, and the lowest figure in seven years.[125]
  • 15 May – the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers union (RMT) announce that Network Rail workers will stage a 24-hour strike from 5.00pm on 25 May over pay and conditions, the first national rail strike in the UK for two decades.[126] The strike is called off on 21 May after a pay deal is reached with Network Rail management.[127]
  • 16 May – the Church of Scotland votes to allow the ordination of gay ministers in civil partnerships.[128]
  • 19 May
  • 21 May – cashless payments now exceed the use of notes and coins, with cash volumes expected to fall by 30% over the next ten years, according to the Payments Council.[133]
  • 22 May – an earthquake of magnitude 4.2 is felt across East Kent.[134]
  • 28 May – the RMT calls two national strikes for June after failing to reach a deal with Network Rail management. A 24-hour strike will begin at 5.00pm on 4 June, and a 48-hour strike will take place from 5.00pm on 9 June.[135] The strikes are suspended on 1 June, after a 2% salary increase offer from Network Rail.[136]
  • 30 May – in football, Arsenal win the 2015 FA Cup Final defeating Aston Villa 4–0 at Wembley.

June

  • 1 June
  • 2 June – a serious collision on The Smiler ride at Alton Towers causes four people to be airlifted to hospital due to their injuries. The incident is one of the biggest accidents to ever occur at Alton Towers, and the park is subsequently closed for several days pending investigations.[139]
  • 6 June – Golden Horn, ridden by Frankie Dettori, wins the 2015 Epsom Derby.[140]
  • 9 June – HSBC, the world's largest banking retailer, announce plans to cut 25,000 jobs worldwide, including 8,000 in the UK. It also plans to close some of its UK branches, and rename the HSBC brand in the UK.[141]
  • 10 June
  • 11 June – a youth is detained by police after a teacher is stabbed in front of students at a school in Bradford.[144]
  • 13 June – Trooping the Colour takes place in London marking the Queen's official birthday. It is the Duchess of Cambridge's first appearance since the birth of Princess Charlotte. Prince George also makes his first appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
  • 14 June – a statue of Queen Elizabeth II is unveiled by Speaker John Bercow at Runnymede in Surrey ahead of the Magna Carta celebrations.[145]
  • 15 June – the royal family, the Prime Minister, the Archbishop of Canterbury and other dignitaries attend a ceremony at Runnymede to mark the eight-hundredth anniversary of the Magna Carta.[146][147]
  • 18 June – a government report reveals that the Palace of Westminster is in need of repair, and recommends that MPs leave the building for two years in order for the repairs to be carried out.[148]
  • 20 June – some 250,000 people take to the streets in cities such as London, Bristol and Manchester in a demonstration backed by the People's Assembly Against Austerity, to protest against the UK Government's austerity programme.
  • 24 June – it is announced that Buckingham Palace is in need of repair and the Royal Household debates on whether the Queen should move to Windsor Castle.[149]
  • 25 June – the UK population grew by almost 500,000 to reach 64,596,800 in 2014 – an above average increase compared with increases over the last decade – according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The percentage of older people continues to increase, and the median age is now forty years, the highest ever recorded.[150]
  • 26 June – at least thirty Britons are among 37 people believed to be dead after a terrorist attack on a beach near the Tunisian resort town of Sousse.[151][152][153]
  • 28 June
    • The 14th Dalai Lama makes an appearance at the 2015 Glastonbury Festival, praising the event as "a festival of people, not governments or politicians".[154]
    • A coach driver from Northern Ireland is killed, and several teachers and schoolchildren from Brentwood in Essex are injured after a coach crashes near Ostend in Belgium.[155]
  • 29 June – a major planning application by energy firm Cuadrilla to begin fracking in Lancashire is rejected by the council.[156]
  • 30 June
    • Police officers, intelligence officials, soldiers and emergency services take part in a counter-terrorism exercise, codenamed Strong Tower, in London. The terror attack simulation has been six months in the planning, and is the country's largest counter-terrorism exercise to date.[157]
    • A leap second occurs meaning master clocks read 11:59:60 as clocks wait for a second to allow the Earth’s rotation to catch up with atomic time.[158]

July

August

September

October

  • 1 October
    • A new law banning smoking in vehicles carrying children comes into force in England and Wales.[212]
    • New consumer protections come into force under the Consumer Rights Act, guaranteeing a full refund for faulty goods up to thirty days after purchase.[213]
  • 2 October – A fifteen-year old British boy from Blackburn, who plotted to behead police officers at an Anzac Day parade in Australia, is sentenced to life in prison.[214]
  • 3 October
  • 5 October
    • England becomes the last country in the UK to introduce a mandatory 5p charge for plastic carrier bags at supermarkets.[218]
    • Archaeologists start digging up the remains of a Spitfire that crashed in the Cambridgeshire fens in 1940.[219]
  • 6 October – Merseyside Police begin a major search after one of their officers, David Phillips, dies the previous night after being hit by a stolen pick-up truck he was trying to stop.[220]
  • 13 October – Home Office figures show that hate crimes in England and Wales have risen by 18% from the last year; with 80% classed as race hate crimes, and others involving religion, disability, sexuality and transgender victims.[221]
  • 15 October – the Stirling Prize, the United Kingdom's top architectural award, is given to Burntwood School in Wandsworth, London.[222]
  • 16 October – Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon announces at the annual SNP conference, that party membership now stands at 114,221 members.[223]
  • 19 October – Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives at Heathrow Airport for his first state visit to the UK.[224]
  • 20 October – Michael Meacher, the Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton, dies in office.[225]
  • 22 October – the voting rights of Scottish MPs are to be restricted, after the Conservative Government wins a vote on its controversial 'English votes for English laws’ (EVEL) plans.[226]
  • 23 October – a "significant and sustained" cyberattack is made on the website of telecoms firm TalkTalk, with personal and banking details of up to 4,000,000 customers being accessed and the firm's CEO receiving a ransom email purported to be from the hackers.[227]
  • 25 October
  • 26 October
  • 29 October
    • A sixteen-year-old youth is detained by police, after a fellow pupil is stabbed to death at Cults Academy school in Aberdeen.[232]
    • It is projected that the UK population will increase beyond 70,000,000 by 2027, mainly due to an ageing population and net migration.[233]
  • 30 October – Shaker Aamer, the last British resident to be held in Guantanamo Bay, lands in the UK, having been detained for thirteen years.[234]
  • 31 October – a motorist dies and ten people are taken to hospital with injuries, after a car collides with a bus near West Kilbride in Ayrshire, Scotland.[235]

November

December

  • 1 December – a fire damages a bar in Newcastle city centre, and one person, later confirmed as the owner, Brian Sandals, is found burnt to death.[263]
  • 2 December – MPs vote 397>223 to authorise UK air strikes against Islamic State in Syria.[264]
  • 3 December
  • 4 December
    • The Rail Delivery Group announces that rail fares will rise by 1.1% in the new year, in line with current inflation rates.[267]
    • The Forth Road Bridge in Scotland is closed due to structural defects, and the Scottish Transport Minister, Derek Mackay, declares that it will not be reopened until January 2016.[268]
  • 5 December
  • 9 December
    • Election Court decide that although Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael had told a "blatant lie" in a TV interview, it had not been proven beyond reasonable doubt that he had committed an "illegal practice" that would invalidate his election.[272]
    • MPs debate whether Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump should be banned from entering the UK after an online petition receives an excess of 100,000 signatures. This followed Trump making a statement about banning all Muslims from entering the United States, and claims he made that parts of London are "so radicalised the police are afraid for their lives".[273][274]
    • Chancellor George Osborne announces a Β£50,000,000 fund for families and businesses hit by floods in Cumbria and Lancashire in the wake of Storm Desmond.[275]
  • 10 December – the UK government announces that any decisions on whether to allow a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick will not be announced until the summer of 2016.[276]
  • 14 December – a "huge rise" is reported in the number of newborn babies in England who are subject to care proceedings, with 2,018 in 2013 compared to 802 in 2008.[277]
  • 15 December – British astronaut Tim Peake becomes the first Briton under the banner of the European Space Agency to set foot on the International Space Station.[278]
  • 18 December
  • 25 December – Storm Eva causes more intensive flooding in northern England, with homes evacuated in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and rivers overflowing in Manchester and Leeds.[281]
  • 29 December – an 81-year-old woman is shot dead by a fellow octogenarian resident at the De La Mer House care home in Essex.[282]
  • 30 December
    • A husband and wife who plotted terror attacks in the Underground and Westfield shopping centre, nicknamed the "silent bomber" couple, are jailed for a minimum of 27 and 25 years.[283]
    • Hundreds of homes are evacuated and thousands are left without power in Scotland and Northern Ireland as Storm Frank brings torrential rain and gales. More than a hundred flood warnings are issued across England, Wales and Scotland.[284]
  • 31 December
    • The New Years honours list is announced, with new knights, dames, MBEs and OBEs awarded for notable contributions to society.[285]
    • More than 1,700 same-sex couples married in the first year, after Scotland became the seventeenth country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage.[286]

Publications

Births

May

Deaths

January

Leon Brittan (1939–2015) in 2011
Barrie Ingham (1932–2015) in 2011

February

Jeffrey Segal (1920–2015) in 2008
Steve Strange (1959–2015), the lead singer of Visage in 2014
Pamela Cundell (1920–2015) in 2011
John Davies (1938–2015)

March

Terry Pratchett (1948–2015), the author of the acclaimed Discworld series
Dave Mackay (1934–2015) in 2006
Suzanne Farrington (centre) (1933–2015) in 1950

April

Cynthia Lennon (1939–2015) in 2010
Ronnie Carroll (1934–2015), at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1962

May

Ruth Rendell (1930–2015) in 2007
Flora MacNeil (1928–2015) in 2006
Raymond Gosling (1926–2015), who helped deduce the structure of DNA, in 2003

June

Charles Kennedy (1959–2015) in 2009
Ron Moody (1924–2015) in 1975

July

Sir Nicholas Winton (1909–2015) in Prague in 2007
John Taylor (1942–2015) in 2008
Eddie Hardin (1949–2015)

August

Cilla Black (1943–2015) in 1970
Robert Conquest (1917–2015) in 1987
Anna Kashfi (1934–2015) in 1959
Justin Wilson (1978–2015) in 2007
Oliver Sacks (1933–2015) in 2009

September

Judy Carne (1939–2015) in 1962
Sir David Willcocks (1919–2015) (centre) with Mellisma
Jackie Collins (1937–2015), whose books have sold over 500 million copies, in 2011

October

Denis Healey (1917–2015) in 1974
Jim Diamond (1951–2015) in 2009
Major-General Michael Walsh (1927–2015) in 1984
Sir Michael Beetham (1923–2015) in 1944, when he was a flight lieutenant

November

Tom Graveney (1927–2015) in 1954
Phil Taylor (1954–2015) (right), performing with his band MotΓΆrhead in 1981, painted by Matthias Laurenz GrΓ€ff
Warren Mitchell (1926–2015) in 1978

December

William McIlvanney (1936–2015) in 2013
Peter Westbury (1938–2015) in 1970
Jimmy Hill (1928–2015) (right) with Maurice Cook
Lemmy (1945–2015) in 2005

See also

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