Year In Review: Events In The News 2018

21 December 2018, 12:52

The poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the Beast from the East all made the news
The poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the Beast from the East all made the news. Picture: PA

A Brexit-free timeline of the biggest news events of 2018, from Storm Eleanor to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. Not forgetting the World Cup, Donald Trump's UK visit, and the Beast from the East...


2nd: Train ticket prices rise by 3.4%, the biggest fare increase for five years.

2nd: Storm Eleanor causes severe disruption, with some gusts of winds reaching 100mph.

12th: President Donald Trump scraps a planned visit to the UK, as the new US Embassy in London opens near Battersea.

15th: The UK's second-largest construction company, Carillion, enters liquidation.


9th: Lizzy Yarnold became the first British athlete to retain a Winter Olympic title and Great Britain's most successful Winter Olympic athlete in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Izzy Atkin won Great Britain's first medal on skis at the event.

24th: The "Beast from the East" brought widespread low temperatures across Great Britain, but caused chaos when it combined with Storm Emma. Heavy snow caused severe travel disruptions, and 17 people lost their lives.

25th: Retailers Toys R Us and Maplin fall into administration.


4th: Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are poisoned in Salisbury with the nerve-agent Novichok. The pair, and a police officer, were treated in hospital. The UK blamed Russia for the attack.

5th: Thousands of people in Wales and south-easy England are urged to use as little water amid supply issues following cold weather.

17th-18th: "Mini Beast from the East" strikes the UK.

18th: Vladimir Putin is re-elected for a fourth term as Russian president.

19th: Allegations of a data breach breach at Facebook, and the misuse of personal data by Cambridge Analytica are made. Mark Zuckerberg rejects a request to answer questions on the subject.

26th: More than 100 Russian diplomats are expelled from more than 20 countries after the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. In a Twitter poll, the Russian Embassy in America asked which US Consulate General it should close in Russia.


3rd: London overtakes New York for the number of murders for the first time in modern history.

5th: Companies with more than 250 employees are required to publish data about differences in pay between men and women.

6th: The sugary drinks tax comes into force in the UK.

14th: The UK, US, and France order the bombing of Syrian military bases in response to the alleged sarin attack on civilians by the Assad regime.

17th: Theresa May apologises to the Windrush generation.

19th: Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents at US borders by an immigration policy. After public opposition and political pressure, it was suspended in June through an executive order.

23rd: Prince William and Catherine have their third child, and second son, Prince Louis Arthur Charles. He is fifth in line to the throne after his older siblings, father, and grand-father Prince Charles.

27th: Kim Jong-un became the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953.


3rd: Local elections take place across the UK with Labour and Liberal Democrats making big gains. The Conservative Party and Ukip lose councillors.

5th: The Temperate House at Kew Gardens reopens after a five-year refurbishment.

8th: President Donald Trump announces he is to withdraw the US from the Iranian nuclear agreement.

17th: The maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals will be reduced to £2, the government announces.

19th: The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. The couple were given the titles Duke and Duchess of Sussex by the Queen.

20th: New train timetables cause severe disruption across the network affecting thousands of passengers.

25th: The EU's GDPR comes into effect. Some websites set up in other countries stop functioning within European Union countries.


4th: The Grenfell Tower Inquiry begins evidence hearings.

5th: Government approves plans for a third runway to be built at Heathrow Airport.

14th: The 2018 FIFA World Cup begins in Russia, and lasts until 15th July when France beat Croatia 4-2 in the final. England finishes fourth having lost the 3rd place play off 2-0 to Belgium.

24th: Saudia Arabia passes a new law that allows women to drive.

24th: Stagecoach and Virgin Trains handed over control of rail services on the East Coast Mainline to the government.

24th: More than 100 firefighters battled to put out a wildfire in the north of England close to a major communications mast. A major incident was declared when two large fires merged into one because of strong winds.

30th: Two British nationals came into contact with the same nerve agent that poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury. Charlie Rowley said his partner, Dawn Sturgess, fell ill "within minutes" after she sprayed what he thought was perfume on her wrists at his home. She later died.


10th: Twelve boys and their football coach are successfully rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand.

10th: The RAF marks its 100th anniversary with a flypast over London and south east England.

12th: President Donald Trump arrived in the UK for a 2 day visit where he met the Queen and dined at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, with the Prime Minister.

14th: Research vessel the RSS Sir David Attenborough and its autonomous submarine Boaty McBoatface is launched by Sir David Attenborough.


14th: A number of pedestrians were injured after a car crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament. A man was arrested at the scene and the Met's Counter-Terrorism Command led an investigation.

14th: A major motorway bridge in Genoa, Italy collapses onto rail tracks and streets below. 43 people died.


21st: Century Fox announces it will sell its 39% stake in Sky UK to Comcast after a sealed-envelope auction.


2nd: Straight couples in England and Wales are given the right to enter civil partnerships instead of marriage.

12th: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank get married at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

16th: 'Pepper' became the first robot to give evidence to politicians in Parliament, where it talked about the future of artificial intelligence in education.

19th: Former deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg joins Facebook as head of its global affairs and communications team.

19th: Anjem Choudary, the radical Islamic cleric, is released from prison after serving less than half of his 5 and a half year sentence. He is ordered to remain under strict supervision for six months.

25th: A man is arrested for attempting to steal the Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral.

27th: Leicester City owner Vichai Sribaddhanaprabha died as his helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium shortly after taking off from the pitch after a home game.


1st: Doctors are allowed to prescribe cannabis products to patients in England, Wales and Scotland.

11th: The 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War is marked with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph, and a ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

17th: Five bridges in central London are blocked by protesters as part of a campaign to raise awareness of climate change and biodiversity loss.

18th: The Parole Board rules that John Worboys, a convicted sex offender also known as the 'Black Cab Rapist', must remain in prison and is not suitable for release. Mr Worboys was approved for release earlier in the year but a court case by the victims overturned the boards ruling.

21st: British academic Matthew Hedges is sentences to life imprisonment after being accused by the United Arab Emirates of spying for the UK government. Less than a week later is is pardoned with immediate effect.


6th: Technical issues to the O2 mobile network leaves up to 32 million people without service.

9th: The NHS announces it will begin phasing out fax machines.

There were of course many news stories on Brexit, all of which are detailed on LBC's Brexit timeline.