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2024 in United Kingdom politics and government


2024 in United Kingdom politics and government


A list of events relating to politics and government in the United Kingdom during 2024.

Events

January

  • 1 January –
    • In his New Year address, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby urges politicians to treat their opponents as human beings rather than enemies.
    • Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps says that British forces are ready to act against Houthi rebels targeting cargo ships in the Red Sea.
    • Writing on X, Doug Barrowman, husband of Michelle, Baroness Mone, said it "suits the agenda" of ministers to "scapegoat" him and his wife as a means of distracting from government "incompetence" at failing to procure personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 2 January – The Home Office says it has fulfilled a pledge to clear a "legacy" backlog of 92,000 asylum applications lodged before July 2022. But after it subsequently emerges that over 4,000 cases are still waiting for a decision, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) announces an examination of the figures the next day.
  • 3 January –
    • Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, launches the party's election campaign by targeting constituencies with Conservative MPs.
    • Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi makes a guest appearance in the ITV drama Mr Bates vs The Post Office as himself, questioning Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells in a 2015 House of Commons committee inquiry into the Horizon computer system.
    • Richard Tice, leader of Reform UK, rules out a pact with the Conservative Party at the next general election.
  • 4 January – Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says his "working assumption" is that the general election will take place in the second half of this year.
  • 5 January – Chris Skidmore, MP for Kingswood, announces his intention to stand down from Parliament "as soon as possible" in protest at the UK government's decision to issue more oil and gas licences. His decision triggers another by-election.
  • 6 January –
    • Government papers seen by the BBC indicate Sunak had significant doubts about sending migrants to Rwanda when he was chancellor, and wanted to scale back the plans.
    • Jeremy Miles rules out reversing Wales's 20 mph speed limit if he becomes first minister.
  • 7 January –
    • Sunak describes the Post Office scandal as "an appalling miscarriage of justice" and says the government is looking at ways to clear the names of those convicted because of faulty IT software.
    • Helen Harrison, the partner of former Conservative MP Peter Bone, is chosen by the Conservatives to contest the 2024 Wellingborough by-election.
    • The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is to investigate claims that Pensions Minister Paul Maynard breached Parliamentary rules by using public funds to pay for Conservative Party work and campaigns.
    • Sir Keir Starmer admits he worries about the toll of a general election year on his two teenage children as he and his wife try to keep them out of the public eye.
  • 8 January –
    • Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer confirms the party intends to stand a candidate in every constituency in England and Wales at the forthcoming general election, the first time it has fielded a full list of candidates at an election.
    • SNP MP Joanna Cherry demands an apology from colleague Mhairi Black, who suggested some members of the party are "too comfortable" at Westminster.
    • Former Minister Sir Alok Sharma announces he would vote against the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill, describing plans to guarantee annual oil and gas licensing rounds as "a total distraction" that reinforce the idea the UK is "not serious" about tackling climate change.
    • British Post Office scandal: Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, who was Director of Public Prosecutions during the scandal, faces questions over why he failed to intervene in the prosecution of innocent sub-postmasters at the time.
  • 9 January
    • Economists say that funding the student loans system in England is expected to cost the government an extra £10 billion a year.
    • British Post Office scandal:
      • Secretary of State for Justice Alex Chalk tells Parliament the UK government is giving "serious consideration" to introducing legislation to quash the convictions of the 700 or so sub post masters who were prosecuted as a result of the Horizon IT scandal.
      • Former Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells announces that she would hand back her CBE after more than a million people signed a petition calling for her to do so.
      • Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey, who was Post Office minister during the scandal, comes under pressure to return his knighthood.
    • Downing Street confirms that Akshata Murty, the wife of the Prime Minister, has donated her shares in a childcare company to charity. The shares were at the centre of a conflict-of-interest controversy.
  • 10 January –
    • British Post Office scandal:
      • Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announces that emergency legislation would be brought through Parliament to "swiftly exonerate and compensate victims" of the Post Office scandal in England and Wales.
      • First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf confirms those in Scotland convicted because of the scandal would also be cleared, and that he would work with the UK government to bring this about.
  • 11 January –
    • The Liberal Democrats ask Ofcom to investigate GB News over alleged bias in its coverage of the Post Office scandal, including what the party's deputy leader, Daisy Cooper, describes as "a fictitious monologue" Nigel Farage delivered about Sir Ed Davey, which she says contained "a number of factual inaccuracies".
    • First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf confirms that the Scottish Government would "in essence replicate" the law in England and Wales banning unlicensed ownership of American XL bully dogs.
    • Sunak authorises joint UK–US air strikes against Houthi rebels following attacks against cargo shipping targets in the Red Sea.
  • 12 January –
    • The Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru call for a recall of parliament to enable a vote on RAF involvement in the air strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen, since Parliament had already risen for the weekend when Sunak authorised the UK's participation.
    • Sunak authorises talks between the Labour Party and the civil service ahead of a general election later in the year to ensure a smooth transition if Labour becomes the party of government.
    • British Post Office scandal:
      • Court documents reveal that Fujitsu, the company at the centre of the Post Office scandal, won a £184m contract by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2021, despite concerns the system it was offering was "unfit for purpose".
      • Court documents show that former Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair was warned the Horizon IT system could be "possibly unreliable" before it was rolled out, and raised concerns about it, but gave it the green light after receiving reassurance from others, including his Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Peter Mandelson.
  • 13 January – Yvonne Tracey, a former deputy postmistress from New Malden, south London, announces her intention to stand in the Parliamentary constituency of Kingston and Surbiton, Sir Ed Davey's seat, at the next general election.
  • 14 January – Foreign Secretary David Cameron tells the BBC that military action was taken against Houthi rebels because the strikes were needed after months of attacks against cargo ships, and that the UK is "prepared to back our words with actions".
  • 15 January –
    • Sunak tells Parliament that air strikes against Houthi targets were means as a "limited, single action" but that the UK "will not hesitate to protect our security, our people and our interests where required".
    • James Stockan announces he is stepping down from the post of leader of Orkney Islands Council, as well as relinquishing his council seat, after six years in the role.
  • 16 January –
    • Analysis shows that Labour would need a record swing of 12.7% in votes at the next general election to win a majority in the House of Commons.
    • Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith resign their positions as Deputy Chairmen of the Conservative Party, after saying they would back rebel amendments on the Rwanda bill. Jane Stevenson also resigns as a Parliamentary Private Secretary so she can vote for the amendment.
    • The fifteen-year time limit on voting eligibility for British citizens living abroad is abolished under the Elections Act 2022, enabling a further two million people to register to vote in UK elections.
  • 17 January –
    • The UK government is seeking legal expenses from the Scottish Government over its challenge against the veto of the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.
    • The current session of the 7th Northern Ireland Assembly is suspended following the failure of Democratic Unionist Party to support nominations to elect Mike Nesbitt (UUP) or Patsy McGlone (SDLP) to the role of Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
    • The Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill passes its third reading in the House of Commons with MPs voting 320–276 in favour of the bill.
  • 18 January – The UK Statistics Authority rebuked the prime minister for misleading the public over the backlog of asylum applications, which he claimed in a social media post had been cleared, while several thousand still remained. The UKSA said the claim could have affected public trust in the government.
  • 19 January –
    • The European Court of Human Rights announces that Ireland launched legal action against the United Kingdom on 17 January over the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Act 2023.
    • The UK government gives its backing to the Pet Abduction Bill, a private member's bill that makes it illegal to steal cats and dogs in England and Northern Ireland.
  • 20 January – A speech to the Fabian Society conference by Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy is interrupted by pro-Palestinian protestors.
  • 21 January – Scotland's First Minister, Humza Yousaf, tells the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg he is willing to work with Sir Keir Starmer if he becomes prime minister after the next general election.
  • 22 January –
    • The House of Lords votes 214–171 in favour of an amendment to the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill that calls for the delay of ratification of the bill until Rwanda improves its asylum procedures.
    • The UK government rejects calls from Welsh MPs to add the Six Nations Championship to the list of guaranteed free-to-air sporting events on British television.
  • 23 January –
    • Following more air strikes against Houthi targets, Sunak tells Parliament the UK would not hesitate to launch further strikes if the rebel group continue to attack shipping targets in the Red Sea, but does not seek confrontation with them.
    • Chris Heaton-Harris, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announces the deadline to call the next Northern Ireland Assembly election would be extended until 8 February to allow the DUP to hold further talks about restarting the Northern Ireland Executive.
  • 24 January –
    • In a BBC interview, Conservative MP Simon Clarke calls for Rishi Sunak to be ousted as prime minister, then later says he is acting alone in his comments.
    • Retired British Army officer Colonel Tim Collins is selected to run as the UUP candidate for North Down at the next general election.
    • Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, announces that he and his Manchester counterpart, Andy Burnham, are to meet Mark Harper, the Secretary of State for Transport, to discuss proposals for a privately-funded alternative to the abandoned Manchester leg of HS2.
  • 25 January – The UK has walked away from trade deal negotiations with Canada after failing to agree on how much access UK producers should have to the Canadian cheese market.
  • 26 January –
    • The Crown Prosecution Service has frozen assets belonging to former Conservative peer Michelle Mone and her husband Doug Barrowman, a spokesman for the couple says.
    • Wales's Education Minister, Jeremy Miles, criticises the way Wales' largest trade union, Unite, declared its preferred candidate for the Welsh Labour leadership election. The union held a hustings with the two candidates before announcing its support for Vaughan Gething.
    • Michael Keegan, husband of Education Secretary Gillian Keegan and former chief executive of Fujitsu UK during the Post Office scandal, resigns from a part-time role with the Cabinet Office.
    • The Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Bereavement) Bill, which guarantees parents immediate leave upon starting a job if their partner dies in childbirth, passes its first stage in the House of Commons.
    • The UK government announces a fresh investigation into the sale of the Daily Telegraph after UAE-based RedBird IMI made an eleventh-hour change to the details of its bid to purchase the newspaper.
  • 27 January – Kemi Badenoch, the business secretary, asks Henry Staunton to step down as chair of Post Office Limited after 13 months in the role, as the government moves to strengthen governance at the Post Office in the wake of the long-running Horizon IT scandal.
  • 28 January – Former MP and cabinet minister Nadine Dorries says she would repay £16,876 in severance pay she received by mistake, as she was too old to qualify for the payment.
  • 29 January –
    • Labour MP Kate Osamor is suspended from the party after saying the Gaza conflict should be remembered as genocide in a post about Holocaust Memorial Day.
    • George Freeman, the Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk, says that he resigned from his role in the Sunak ministry in November 2023 because he could not afford to pay his mortgage on the £118,300 ministerial salary after his mortgage increased from £800 to £2,000 per month.
    • Colum Eastwood, the leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, says he "cannot in good conscience" attend this year's St Patrick's Day celebration at White House because of the US response to the Israel–Hamas war.
    • Following the first debate of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill in the House of Lords, Peers vote 206–84 to move the bill on to the next stage of its passage through the House.
    • The Democratic Unionist Party endorses a deal aimed at restoring the Northern Ireland Executive.
  • 30 January –
    • During a visit to the Middle East, Foreign Secretary David Cameron says that the UK is ready to bring forward the moment when it is ready to recognise a Palestinian state.
    • Members of the Senedd vote 39–14 to back the Senedd Reform Bill which expands the legislature to 96 members at the 2026 Senedd election|2026 election and change the way members are elected.
    • The Media Bill, which proposes changes to radio in the United Kingdom such as reducing regulations for commercial radio and improving access through smart devices, passes its third reading in the House of Commons.
  • 31 January –
    • 2024 Northern Ireland Executive Formation: Details of a deal between the UK government and Democratic Unionist Party aimed at restoring the Northern Ireland Executive are published. It includes reducing checks and paperwork on goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
    • Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves confirms that Labour would not reintroduce the cap on bankers' bonuses if they form a government after the next general election.

February

  • 1 February –
    • A Statutory Instrument paving the way for the Northern Ireland Executive to be re-established is passed by the House of Commons.
    • Conservative MP Mike Freer announces he is standing down from Parliament at the next election following death threats and an arson attack on his constituency office. Downing Street describes the situation as "an attack on democracy".
    • Addressing a meeting of business leaders, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves says that Labour would not increase corporation tax if elected, but may cut it to boost "competitiveness".
    • Penny Mordaunt, the Leader of the House of Commons, has argued plans to expand the Senedd from 60 to 96 MSs would be the equivalent of expanding the House of Commons from 650 to 2,000 MPs.
    • MP Christina Rees is readmitted to the Labour Party but announces her retirement at the next general election.
  • 2 February – Senior Labour MP Darren Jones confirms that the party has ditched its commitment to spend £28bn a year on green investment schemes if it wins the next general election.
  • 3 February –
    • 2024 Northern Ireland Executive Formation:
      • The Northern Ireland Assembly meets to elect a new Speaker. Edwin Poots, a former leader of the DUP, is chosen to be the Assembly's 7th Speaker.
      • The Northern Ireland Executive is restored after the DUP ends its two year boycott; Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill is nominated as First Minister, becoming the first nationalist politician to hold the post, while the DUP's Emma Little-Pengelly is appointed deputy.
      • SDLP MLA Matthew O'Toole is nominated as Leader of the Opposition.
      • Justin McNulty is suspended from the SDLP for leaving the Assembly sitting early to manage Laois GAA at a Gaelic football match in Wexford.
    • Sir Bob Neill, MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, announces he is stand down at the next election to spend more time with his wife, who has suffered a stroke.
  • 4 February –
    • Dafydd Wigley, a former leader of Plaid Cymru, warns that reforms to Wales's political system pose "a very great danger" since it would destroy the relationship between voters and the people they elect.
    • Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives in Northern Ireland to visit ministers following the restoration of the Executive.
  • 5 February –
    • Sunak visits Stormont along with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to mark the restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive.
    • Sunak is criticised by opposition parties after appearing to agree to a £1,000 bet on the Rwanda asylum plan, that the first flight to Rwanda would take off before the election. He subsequently says the challenge, put forward by TalkTV presenter Piers Morgan, took him by surprise, but that it was not a mistake to accept it.
    • Sunak says the government has "not made enough progress" on cutting NHS waiting lists in England, but that industrial action "has had an impact".
    • The UK government sets out its Disability Action Plan, which includes measures to protect people with assistance dogs from being illegally refused entry to businesses.
    • The UK government launches a six-week consultation on plans for Martyn's Law, which would make provisions to better protect the public against potential acts of terrorism.
  • 6 February –
    • Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng announced he is stepping down from Parliament at the next election.
    • The UK government gives Birmingham City Council to go-ahead to increase its Council Tax by 10% from April.
    • Welsh Government minister Hannah Blythyn announces that the Welsh Government is taking over South Wales Fire and Rescue Service after it was found to have a culture of harassment and misogynism.
    • Elena Whitham resigns from the post of Minister for Drugs and Alcohol Policy due to health reasons.
    • Former Prime Minister Liz Truss launches a campaign to "galvanise" the UK's "secret Conservatives" and fight back against the "left wing extremists" she claims have taken over the UK's institutions.
  • 7 February –
    • Sunak faced a call from a Labour MP to apologise after he ridiculed Starmer over his U-turn on "defining a woman" at Prime Minister's Questions.
    • Met Office data obtained by BBC Verify raises questions over UK government claims that poor weather conditions had no impact on a fall in English Channel migrant crossings during 2023. The number of crossings were fewer than during the previous year, which the government had said was nothing to do with the weather, but the figures suggest there were fewer days during 2023 when compared to 2022 when migrants could successfully cross the Channel.
  • 8 February –
    • Labour scraps its plans for a £28bn annual green investment, with Sir Keir Starmer saying the policy is unaffordable because of the Conservatives' economic record. In response, Sunak says Starmer "U-turns on major things, he can't say what he would do differently". Momentum says the announcement "represents yet another capitulation to right-wing interests".
    • Michael Matheson resigns as Scotland's Health Secretary ahead of the publication of a report into £11,000 of data roaming charges accrued by his Parliamentary iPad. He is replaced by Neil Gray.
    • Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann confirms he is the Ulster Unionist Party candidate for the Westminster constituency of South Antrim at the next general election.
  • 9 February –
    • 2024 Special Honours:
      • The 2024 Special Honours are announced. They include Plaid Cymru nominee Carmen Smith, a former public affairs adviser for the party, who at 27, becomes the youngest member of the House of Lords.
      • Donald Cameron, a Conservative list MSP for the Highlands and Islands, announces he is standing down from the Scottish Parliament to take up a seat in the House of Lords and a junior ministerial post in the Scottish Office.
    • Details of Sunak's earnings for 2023 are published, showing he paid £508,308 in tax on earnings of around £2.2m.
    • The Mayor's and City of London Court rules that the Green Party discriminated against former deputy leader Dr Shahrar Ali after dismissing him during a row over his gender critical beliefs.
    • The Conservatives unexpectedly gain Crewe Central from Labour in a Cheshire East Council by-election.
  • 11 February – Azhar Ali, Labour's candidate in the Rochdale by-election, apologises after a recording of him reportedly saying that Israel had "allowed" the deadly attack by Hamas gunmen on 7 October was obtained by The Mail on Sunday. Labour condemns his remarks but continues to offer its support to his candidacy.
  • 12 February –
    • Labour withdraws its support for Rochdale candidate Azhar Ali.
    • Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford, announces she is standing down from Parliament at the next general election.
    • Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appears on an hour long GB News People's Forum, where a selected audience of undecided voters are invited to ask him questions. The programme is presented by Stephen Dixon.
  • 13 February – Labour withdraws its support for Graham Jones, the former MP for Hyndburn, who was going to contest the seat at the next general election, after it emerges he attended a meeting at which Azhar Ali made comments about Israel.
  • 14 February –
    • Former Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock endorses Vaughan Gething to lead Welsh Labour as the next First Minister of Wales.
    • Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood tells BBC Radio 4's PM programme that politicians cannot be viewed as "fair game" after a large-scale pro-Palestinian protest outside his family home.
  • 15 February –
    • By-elections take place in Wellingborough and Kingswood. Labour's Gen Kitchen takes Wellingborough, the Conservative Peter Bone's former seat, which he had held with a majority of more than 18,000. The swing of 28.5% is the second largest swing from Conservative to Labour at a by-election since the Second World War. Labour's Damien Egan overturns an 11,220 Conservative majority in Kingswood to win Chris Skidmore's former seat.
    • Atiqul Hoque, the Conservative Mayor of Salisbury, is expelled from the Conservative Party over antisemitic remarks made on social media and WhatsApp.
  • 16 February –
    • The Labour Party releases a summery of the tax paid by Sir Keir Starmer during 2023, showing he paid just under £100,000 in tax.
    • The ballot to elect the next leader of Welsh Labour opens.
    • Craig Browne resigns as deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, saying he can no longer afford to do the role on the £30,000 annual salary.
  • 17 February – Delegates at the Scottish Labour Party conference pass a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
  • 18 February –
    • Henry Staunton, the former chairman of the Post Office, tells The Sunday Times that Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch told him "Someone's got to take the rap" when he was dismissed from the post. In response Badenoch describes his comments as a "disgraceful misrepresentation" of their conversation.
    • Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer calls for a "ceasefire that lasts" in Gaza.
  • 19 February –
    • GOV.UK updates the Royal Cypher Crown, replacing Queen Elizabeth IIs St Edward's Crown with the Tudor Crown used by King Charles III.
    • Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch tells the House of Commons that claims by Henry Staunton, the former chair of the Post Office, that he was told to delay compensation payments for sub-postmasters are "completely false".
    • The UK government announces plans for new measures on holiday homes in England to stop local people being priced out of being able to live in their community.
    • Ofcom launches an impartiality investigation into GB News's Q&A session with prime minister Rishi Sunak.
    • The UK government announces that a scheme allowing Ukrainian nationals to join relatives in the UK has closed to new applicants.
    • Birmingham City Council announces plans to raise council tax by 21% over the next two years as part of £300m in budget cuts.
  • 20 February –
    • BBC News reports that the Cameron government were aware that the Post Office had ended a 2016 investigation that could have helped several sub-postmasters wrongly convicted as a result of the Horizon IT scandal.
    • Labour calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, the first time it has called for a ceasefire since the Israel–Hamas conflict began.
    • In a statement on the Israel–Hamas conflict, the Prince of Wales calls for an "end to the fighting as soon as possible".
    • David Neal is dismissed from the post of Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration after he was quoted in articles criticising the immigration system in both The Times and the Daily Mail.
    • An independent panel upholds the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards' decision that Scott Benton, MP for Blackpool South, should face a 35-day suspension from Parliament. The suspension will now be voted on by MPs and could trigger another by-election.
    • Heather Woodbridge, aged 29, is appointed as leader of Orkney Islands Council, becoming Scotland's youngest council leader and the first woman to lead Orkney Islands Council.
  • 21 February –
    • An Opposition day House of Commons debate calling for a ceasefire in Gaza descends into chaos after Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle breaks with Parliamentary convention to allow a vote on a Labour amendment calling for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" over the scheduled SNP motion calling for an "immediate ceasefire". The decision leads to protests from both Conservative and SNP MPs, who walk out of the House, leaving Labour's motion to be nodded through when the other two parties do not take part in the vote. Amid calls for his resignation, Hoyle says that he allowed the House to vote on the Labour motion so MPs could express their view on "the widest range of propositions", and to protect MPs' safety.
    • King Charles III is seen back at work and meeting Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the first time he has been seen back at work since his cancer diagnosis.
    • Senior civil servant Sarah Munby writes to the Business Secretary to reject allegations by former Post Office chairman Henry Staunton that he was told to delay compensation payments to victims of the Horizon scandal.
  • 22 February –
    • More than 60 MPs have signed a House of Commons motion calling for the resignation of Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle.
    • The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority launches an investigation into claims that Pensions Minister Paul Maynard used public funds to finance his campaign.
    • The UK government announces that legislation will be introduced to clear hundreds of sub-postmasters in England and Wales who were wrongly convicted as a result of the Horizon IT scandal.
    • Argyll and Bute Council votes to raise its council tax by 10%, and rejects the Scottish Government's council tax freeze by doing so.
    • Former Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in the United States, where she claims Western civilisation is at risk if Conservatives do not develop a louder voice, and attributes the downfall of her administration to "antagonism" from the establishment. She subsequently appears on a podcast with former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, where she remains silent as Bannon describes the far-right political activist Tommy Robinson as a "hero".
  • 23 February –
    • A UK government commissioned report prepared by Lord Walney recommends giving police extra powers to tackle protests outside Parliament in order to protect politicians against "intimidation" that could influence the way they vote.
    • Sammy Wilson announces his resignation as DUP Chief Whip at Westminster.
    • The UK agrees a deal with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) to work more closely to prevent migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats.
    • Bob Stewart, MP for Beckenham, has his conviction for a racially aggravated public order offence quashed following an appeal.
  • 24 February – Lee Anderson is suspended from the Conservative Party after "refusing to apologise" for claiming "Islamists" had "got control" of London Mayor Sadiq Khan during an edition of his GB News show the previous day.
  • 25 February –
    • Sunak warns of the dangers of polarisation and hatred in politics following a week of political friction at Westminster.
    • Preet Gill, Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, tells BBC Politics Midlands that receiving death threats appears to have become the "norm" and that her job worries her "in a way I've never been worried before".
    • The SNP announces plans to apply for another parliamentary debate on Gaza in the coming week.
    • The Scottish Government confirms that Economy Secretary Màiri McAllan, who is pregnant, will take maternity leave during the summer, becoming the second Scottish Government minister to do so.
  • 26 February –
    • House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle rejects the SNP's request for an emergency debate on Gaza.
    • Lee Anderson says that his words were clumsy, but refuses to apologise for his comments about Sadiq Khan.
  • 27 February –
    • A statement from 10 Downing Street says that the prime minister believed Lee Anderson's comments were wrong because they conflated "all Muslims with Islamist extremism".
    • Conservative MP and former minister Paul Scully apologises for suggesting there are "no-go" areas in parts of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
    • MSPs vote 68–55 in favour of the 2024 Scottish budget, which includes a council tax freeze and 45% and 48% income tax rates for higher earners.
    • Fergus Ewing loses his appeal against a week-long suspension from the SNP group at Holyrood in September 2023 after he criticised the party leadership.
    • MPs vote to suspend Scott Benton from Parliament for 35 days, triggering a recall petition.
  • 28 February –
    • The UK government announces a £31m financial package to improve MPs security.
    • Pro-Palestinian groups say they will continue to march after Home Secretary James Cleverly questioned whether holding regular marches "adds value" to calls for a ceasefire in Gaza during an interview with The Times.
    • The High Court in Belfast rules that conditional immunity from prosecutions for Troubles-era crimes, contained in the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Act 2023, is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
    • Addressing a meeting of police leaders, Sunak warns of a "growing consensus that mob rule is replacing democratic rule" and says that "a pattern of increasingly violent and intimidatory [sic] behaviour" cannot be allowed to stop elected representatives doing their job..
  • 29 February –
    • 2024 Rochdale by-election: In an unusually chaotic by-election, George Galloway wins for the Workers Party of Britain, marking his return to parliament. Independent candidate David Tully comes second, with the Conservative candidate Paul Ellison coming third. Both the Labour and Green Party candidates were disowned by their respective parties.
    • Michael Gove is placed under investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, in relation to his register of financial interests.
    • MP Julian Knight is told by Essex Police he will face no criminal charges following an investigation into allegations of serious sexual assault that were made against him.
    • Figures published by the Home Office show a reduction in the backlog of asylum applications, driven by an increase in decisions, with 74,172 initial decisions on asylum applications made during 2023, an almost fourfold increase on the 2022 figure.

March

  • 1 March –
    • 2024 Rochdale by-election:
      • Sir Keir Starmer apologises to the voters of Rochdale for disowning the Labour Party's candidate, but says it was "the right decision".
      • In a statement outside 10 Downing Street, Sunak warns that Islamists and far-right extremists, which he describes as "two sides of the same extremist coin", are trying to "deliberately" undermine the UK's "multi-faith democracy", and says the UK must face them down.
    • Figures from the National Audit Office show the UK government will pay Rwanda a total of £350m for the agreement to take asylum seekers, with £150,000 also being paid to Rwanda for each person sent there.
    • Conservative peer Lord Bamford, chairman of JCB, retires from the House of Lords.
  • 2 – 3 March – The London Labour conference is held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel in Tower Bridge.
  • 4 March –
    • Sunak says the UK economy is "getting on the right track" ahead of what is expected to be the last budget before the next election.
    • George Galloway is sworn in as an MP at Westminster.
    • Paul Scully, MP for Sutton and Cheam, announces he is standing down from Parliament at the next general election.
    • Lee Waters announces he is stepping down as Wales's Transport Minister when the new First Minister of Wales is elected.
  • 5 March – A bid by the Welsh Conservatives and Welsh Liberal Democrats to change planned reforms to the way Senedd members are elected from the 2026 election is rejected by the parliament.
  • 6 March –
    • Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivers the 2024 United Kingdom budget.
    • Information published by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology reveals that £15,000 in damages was paid to academic Kate Sand after Science Minister Michelle Donelan described her as a Hamas supporter in 2023; Donelan retracted the allegations on 5 March.
    • University Challenge contestant Melika Gorgianeh accepts substantial damages from Conservative peer Jacqueline Foster after Foster accused her of being antisemitic following her appearance on the quiz show in November 2023.
    • Senedd member Rhys ab Owen is to be banned from the Senedd for six weeks after an investigation by the Senedd Commission found he inappropriately touched two women during a night out in June 2021.
  • 7 March – Blur drummer Dave Rowntree is selected as the Labour Party candidate for Mid Sussex.
  • 8 March –
    • Former prime minister Theresa May announces she is stepping down from Parliament at the next general election.
    • Brenda Dacres is elected Mayor of Lewisham becoming the first black woman directly elected mayor in England.
    • Robin Simcox, the UK government's Commissioner for Countering Extremism, warns that London has become a "no-go zone for Jews" at weekends because of pro-Palestinian protests.
  • 9 March –
    • In an article posted on LinkedIn, senior UK government ministers Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Tom Tugendhat urge Sunak to increase defence spending to above 2.5% of GDP, arguing that the UK needs to "lead the way" on defence spending and invest at a "much greater pace".
    • A Daily Telegraph report alleging a conflict-of-interest involving First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf after the Scottish Government donated £250,000 to the UN agency UNRWA, which supports Palestinian refugees, is rejected by Yousaf as an "outrageous smear" and a "far right conspiracy".
  • 10 March – BBC News reports that former Prime Minister Boris Johnson flew to Venezuela during February for an unofficial private meeting with President Nicolás Maduro.
  • 11 March –
    • Ashfield MP Lee Anderson defects from the Conservatives to Reform UK, becoming the party's first sitting Member of Parliament.
    • Addressing the Institute for Government, former prime minister Sir John Major criticises his recent Conservative successors for the attitude towards the civil service, and describes the quick succession of prime ministers in recent years as "not conducive to good government".
    • As the UK government prepares to redraw the definition of extremism, former Home Secretaries Priti Patel, Sajid Javid and Amber Rudd warn against attempting to politicise extremism at the next election.
    • After the Welsh Government publishes plans to require parties in the Senedd to draw up lists of candidates composing of 50% of women, presiding officer Elin Jones says that the Senedd does not have the power to enforce gender quotas.
    • Conservative Party donor Frank Hester apologises after The Guardian reported comments he is alleged to have made in 2019 about Labour MP Diane Abbott, when he is said to have suggested she made him "want to hate all black women" and that she "should be shot".
    • David Neal, the former Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, has described the Home Office is dysfunctional and in urgent need of reform, citing problems with immigration as an example.
  • 12 March –
    • A spokesman for the prime minister describes the remarks allegedly made by Frank Hester about Diane Abbott as "racist and wrong".
    • A recall petition opens in the Blackpool South constituency following Scott Benton's 35 day suspension from Parliament.
  • 13 March –
    • Sunak tells Prime Minister's Questions he will not return £10m donated to the Conservative Party by Frank Hester, because he has apologised and "his remorse should be accepted".
    • The UK government announces a scheme to offer failed asylum seekers £3,000 if they agree to move to Rwanda voluntarily.
    • The UK government announces a ban on foreign state ownership of British newspapers and news magazines following controversy over a potential purchase of The Telegraph by a consortium backed by the United Arab Emirates.
    • Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald regains the Labour whip.
  • 14 March –
    • Russia is reported to have jammed the GPS signal of an RAF plane carrying Defence Secretary Grant Shapps back to the UK from Poland the previous day for around 30 minutes as the plane flew near the border of the Russian territory of Kaliningrad.
    • Speaking in the House of Commons, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove outlines the UK government's new definition of extremism, and names five groups that would be assessed against the new criteria. They are the British National Socialist Movement, Patriotic Alternative, the Muslim Association of Britain, CAGE and Muslim Engagement and Development. The new definition is criticised by civil liberties and community groups, while most of the groups named by Gove threaten legal action if they are added to the list.
    • Speaking to ITV News West Country, Sunak rules out 2 May as the date of the next general election.
    • The news website Tortoise Media reports that the Conservatives have received a further £5m in donations from Frank Hester that are yet to be declared.
    • Sir Brandon Lewis, a former Conservative Party Chairman, announces he is standing down from Parliament at the next general election.
    • The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority confirms that MPs annual salaries will increase by 5% to £91,346 from April.
    • Government papers show that former prime minister Liz Truss accepted a £20,000 trip to the United States in February paid for by the Green Dragon Coalition, an obscure group that takes its name from the Green Dragon Tavern in Boston, Massachusetts, and is believed to support US Presidential candidate Donald Trump. The trip was to attend a three-day conference at a hotel on Sea Island, Georgia.
    • The Scottish Parliament Corporate Body finds Michael Matheson in breach of the Ministerial Code over his £1,000 iPad bill.
    • Former Conservative MP Guto Bebb is appointed interim chair of S4C.
  • 15 March –
    • Armed Forces Minister James Heappey, MP for Wells, announces he will not stand at the next general election.
    • A report by the Public Accounts Committee finds that only 10% of money promised to reduce inequality under the Levelling Up scheme actually been spent.
    • The Animal Welfare (Import of Dogs, Cats and Ferrets) Bill, introduced as a private member's bill, passes its first reading in the House of Commons after securing the backing of the UK government. The bill aims to ban the import of puppies, kittens and ferrets under the age of six months into the UK.
    • Apple agrees to pay a £385m settlement on a lawsuit led by Norfolk County Council, which was started over allegations Apple CEO Tim Cook defrauded shareholders in a pension company administered by the Council by covering up lower demand for iPhones in China.
  • 16 March –
    • Vaughan Gething is elected to lead Welsh Labour, and will become First Minister of Wales. He will be Wales's first black leader, and the first black person to lead a country in Europe. With Gething's win it means that three of the four governments in the UK will have non-white leaders.
    • A group calling itself the South Devon Primary, which aims to unseat Conservative MPs in South Devon at the next election, chooses Liberal Democrat Caroline Voaden as a candidate for one of its constituencies.
    • Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister announces a formal "partnership" with Reform UK at the next general election.
  • 17 March –
    • Transport Secretary Mark Harper tells the BBC that the Conservative Party welcomes members "whatever their race".
    • Pete Wishart, the SNP's longest-serving MP at Westminster, distances himself from the party's election message of making Scotland "Tory-free", describing it as unhelpful.
  • 18 March –
    • Amendments to the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill tabled in the House of Lords are overturned again in the House of Commons. The changes included allowing courts to question Rwanda's safety as a country.
    • Former US President Barack Obama arrives at 10 Downing Street for talks with Sunak.
    • Ofcom finds that five episodes of GB News shows presented by Jacob Rees Mogg, Esther McVey and Phillip Davies broke their rules, and warns the channel about its use of Conservative MPs to host news content.
    • Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch dismisses rumours of a plot to unseat Sunak as Conservative leader as the party continues to fair badly in the polls.
  • 19 March –
    • While speaking to a House of Lords Committee, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt hints that the next general election may take place in October.
    • Labour's Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South, apologises for swearing in Parliament after he was overheard to use the word "shit" while voting on the government's Rwanda legislation the previous evening.
    • The Football Governance Bill, which aims to establish an independent football regulator for England, is introduced into Parliament.
    • Mark Drakeford attends his final First Minister's Questions as First Minister of Wales.
  • 20 March –
    • The Tobacco and Vapes Bill, which would make it illegal for anyone born after 2009 to purchase cigarettes by raising the minimum age by a year starting in 2027, begins its process through Parliament.
    • The Senedd approves Vaughan Gething as the next First Minister of Wales.
  • 21 March –
    • Carmen Smith is sworn in as the youngest member of the House of Lords.
    • The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body confirms that members of Scottish Parliament staff will no longer be allowed to wear rainbow lanyards, or any other badge or jewellery associated with social issues, while at Holyrood.
    • The Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill passes its final vote in the Scottish Parliament. Among measures it introduces is a licensing scheme for land where grouse shooting takes place, and regulations for traps.
    • Vaughan Gething announces his cabinet. Appointments include Jeremy Miles, who becomes Economy and Environment Minister and Lynne Neagle, who becomes Education Minister.
    • Dan Barker, selected in December 2023 as the Conservative candidate for the 2024 Greater Manchester mayoral election, defects to Reform UK, accusing the Conservatives of giving up on the north of England.
    • BBC News reports that officials have raised concerns about the role of Secretary of State for the Environment Steve Barclay in a proposed waste incinerator in his constituency, which he opposes, and he will consequently no longer have a role in the decision making process.
  • 22 March –
    • West Yorkshire Police launches an investigation into the alleged comments made about Diane Abbott by Conservative Party donor Frank Hester.
    • A private member's bill introduced to Parliament by Conservative MP Gareth Johnson that aimed to prevent the expansion of London's Ultra Low Emission Zone runs out of Parliamentary time.
    • Penny Mordaunt dismisses rumours of a potential leadership challenge against Rishi Sunak as "nonsense".
    • MPs in the House of Commons give their backing to a private member's bill that will ban the import of hunting trophies into the UK if it becomes law.
  • 24 March – Chancellor Jeremy Hunt says the Conservatives will keep the triple lock mechanism for deciding the rise in the state pension if they win the next election.
  • 25 March –
    • Former Conservative MP Scott Benton resigns his Parliamentary seat, triggering a by-election in the Blackpool South constituency.
    • The UK formally accuses China of being behind a "malicious" cyberattack against MPs and the Electoral Commission.
  • 26 March –
    • Education Minister Robert Halfon and Armed Forces Minister James Heappey announce their resignations from the Sunak ministry, having decided to stand down from Parliament at the next election.
    • BBC News reports that HM Treasury sent members of staff to work at Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is accused of being "dominated" by the Chinese Communist Party.
    • The first meeting of the East–West Council, established as part of the restoration of government in Northern Ireland, is held in London.
  • 27 March – A report clears Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin of breaching COVID-19 laws over his attendance at a "wine and nibbles" event on the Parliamentary estate in December 2020, which the report describes as socially-distanced with "business and social elements".
  • 28 March –
    • Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner launch Labour's campaign for the 2024 United Kingdom local elections at an event in Dudley.
    • Honours are conferred on businessman and senior Conservative Party treasurer Mohamed Mansour, Farming Minister Mark Spencer and Shipley MP Philip Davies, all of who receive knighthoods, while former ministers Tracey Crouch and Harriett Baldwin are awarded damehoods. The announcement comes as part of an honours list published at the start of the Parliamentary recess.
    • The Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill, a bill to legalise assisted dying in Scotland and drafted by Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur, is introduced into the Scottish Parliament.
  • 29 March – Sir Jeffrey Donaldson resigns as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party after being charged with rape and other historical sexual offences. Gavin Robinson is appointed interim leader until a new leader can be elected.
  • 30 March – First Minister of Northern Ireland Michelle O'Neill says she is determined the Stormont Assembly and Executive will continue to function following the resignation of Jeffrey Donaldson as DUP leader.
  • 31 March –
    • The UK government says it will work alongside the Northern Ireland Executive to maintain stability at Stormont.
    • A Survation poll of 15,000 people suggests the Conservatives could win fewer than 100 seats at the next election, forecasting Labour with 468 seats, the Conservatives with 98 seats, the Scottish National Party with 41 seats and the Liberal Democrats with 22 seats.

April

  • 1 April –
    • The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021, which creates a new crime of "stirring up hatred" relating to age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or being intersex, comes into force in Scotland.
    • Twenty Labour Party councillors serving on Pendle Borough Council, Nelson Town Council and Brierfield Town Council resign from the party in protest at Sir Keir Starmer's leadership, which they say no longer reflects their views. This included the leader of Pendle Borough Council Asjad Mahmood.
  • 2 April – Education Secretary Gillian Keegan says that proposed homelessness legislation will not be used against "excessive smells". The Criminal Justice Bill, which is currently making its way through Parliament, will replace the 1824 Vagrancy Act.
  • 3 April –
    • Labour commits to the Conservatives' childcare expansion plans if it wins the next general election.
    • MP Johnny Mercer announces his intention to challenge a court order to reveal names of those who had told him about alleged war crimes by British special forces in Afghanistan.
  • 4 April – Conservative MP William Wragg tells The Times he shared the phone numbers of fellow MPs with someone he met on a dating app after sending the person intimate pictures of himself.
  • 5 April –
    • Veterans' Minister Johnny Mercer is given until 8 May to present his argument as to why he should not reveal the identity of those who told him about alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan by British Special Forces.
    • The Conservative Party launches an investigation into former Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan after an appearance on LBC during which he claimed the Conservative Friends of Israel was "doing the bidding" of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    • Conservative MP Luke Evans identifies himself to police as "a victim of cyber-flashing and malicious communication".
  • 8 April –
    • Ofcom launches an investigation into the 29 March edition of David Lammy's show on LBC to determine whether it broke the rules regarding politicians acting as newsreaders.
    • William Wragg steps down as vice chair of the Conservative Party's 1922 Committee following revelations about the Westminster WhatsApp scam.
    • Richard Tice, leader of Reform UK, defends his party's vetting procedure after 12 general election candidates were deselected for offensive social media posts.
  • 9 April –
    • William Wragg voluntarily resigns the Conservative whip and will sit in Parliament as an independent MP. He also gives up his role on the Public Administration Committee.
    • The brother-in-law of First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court charged with abduction and extortion following an incident where a man fell from a block of flats and later died.
    • Three people are arrested after staging a protest outside the London home of Keir Starmer.
  • 10 April –
    • Figures published by the Foreign Office indicate that £4.3bn of its budget for 2023 – roughly a quarter of the overall foreign aid budget for the year – was spent on refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.
    • Scottish Labour suspends Wilma Brown, its parliamentary candidate for Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy, following reports she liked racist and Islamophobic posts on social media.
  • 11 April –
    • The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology says that the legal fees for Michelle Donelan came to over £19,000.
    • Sally Bunce, the Green Party candidate for Mayor of the Tees Valley in the May election, drops out of the contest saying she does not want to split the vote against the Conservative candidate.
    • Reform UK apologise to the family of their dropped candidate for York Central Tommy Cawkwell for "inactivity" not knowing that he had died.
    • Joe Haines and Lord Donoughue, who were two of Harold Wilson's advisers during his time as Prime Minister, tell The Times that Wilson had an affair with his deputy press secretary, Janet Hewlett-Davies, during the 1970s.
    • Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is refused permission to rename its town hall complex after the late Queen Elizabeth II.
  • 12 April –
    • Greater Manchester Police launch an investigation into Labour's deputy leader, Angela Rayner, over the sale of her council house amid allegations she broke electoral law by giving false information about her place of residence. Rayner pledges to step down if she is found guilty of any crime.
    • Keir Starmer says that if elected to government, Labour will raise defence spending to 2.5% of GDP. He also makes an "unshakable" commitment to nuclear weapons.
    • Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, resigns from his ministerial post of Energy Minister with the UK government to spend more time focusing on local issues. He is replaced by Justin Tomlinson.
    • Bambos Charalambous, MP for Enfield Southgate, is readmitted to the Labour Party following a ten month long internal investigation.
  • 15 April – Peers living outside London become eligible to claim £100 for accommodation expenses when they attend sittings at the House of Lords.

May

  • 2 May – Local elections are scheduled to take place for councils and mayors in England and police and crime commissioners in England and Wales. The 2024 Blackpool South by-election will be held on the same day.

June

July

August

September

  • 22 to 25 September 2024 – Labour Party Conference at the ACC Liverpool.

October

November

December

  • 17 December – Assuming the next general election has not already taken place, the Parliament elected in 2019 must be dissolved, with the next general election taking place no later than 28 January 2025.

Deaths

  • 3 January – Derek Draper, 56, lobbyist and political adviser.
  • 15 January – James Masih Shera, 77, Pakistani-born British politician and educationist.
  • 17 January – Sir Tony Lloyd, 73, British politician, MP (1983–2012, since 2017) and mayor of Greater Manchester (2015–2017), leukemia.
  • 19 January – Sir Graham Bright, 81, British politician, MP (1979–1997) and Cambridgeshire police and crime commissioner (2012–2016).
  • 20 January – John Tomlinson, Baron Tomlinson, 84, British politician, MP (1974–1979) and MEP (1984–1999).
  • 6 February – Shreela Flather, Baroness Flather, 89, British-Indian politician, Life peer (since 1990).
  • 23 February – Ronnie Campbell, 80, British politician, MP (1987–2019).
  • 25 February – Patrick Cormack, Baron Cormack, 84, British politician, MP (1970–2010) and member of the House of Lords (since 2010). (death announced on this date)
  • 26 February – Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild, 87, British investment banker and peer, member of the House of Lords (1991–1999).
  • 29 February – Ruth Henig, Baroness Henig, 80, historian and politician, member of the House of Lords (since 2004), Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords (since 2018).
  • 8 March – Tommy McAvoy, Baron McAvoy, 80, British politician, MP (1987–2010) and member of the House of Lords (since 2010). (death announced on this date)
  • 6 April – Doug Hoyle, Baron Hoyle, 98, British politician, MP (1974–1979, 1981–1983) and member of the House of Lords (1997–2023).
  • 10 April – Richard Rosser, Baron Rosser, 79, British trade unionist and politician, member of the House of Lords (since 2004).

References


Text submitted to CC-BY-SA license. Source: 2024 in United Kingdom politics and government by Wikipedia (Historical)

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