In Pictures: Another turbulent 12 months in UK politics

5 Min Read

MPs started the year with a show of cross-party support, giving a rare standing ovation to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in February after he provided the House of Commons with an update on his country’s war with Russia.

Later in the month, Nicola Sturgeon fought back tears as she announced her resignation as First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP after eight years in the role.

Jeremy Hunt delivered his first full Budget since becoming Chancellor, which included a hike in corporation tax, in March.

Meanwhile, Humza Yousaf fended off competition from Kate Forbes and Ash Regan to become the SNP’s new leader and First Minister of Scotland.

The Conservatives suffered significant losses in May’s local elections while Labour and the Lib Dems gained control of a number of councils. The Green Party also made record gains.

Former prime minister Boris Johnson resigned as an MP with immediate effect in June after receiving the Commons Select Committee of Privileges report into the “Partygate” scandal.

The report concluded that Mr Johnson deliberately misled the Commons over lockdown parties at 10 Downing Street, and would be suspended for 90 days if still an MP.

Three parilamentary by-elections were triggered by Mr Johnson’s decision to quit, including in his own constituency, after loyalists Nadine Dorries and Nigel Adams also announced their resignations.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats overturned Tory majorities of around 20,000 votes in July after by-elections in the constituencies of Selby and Ainsty and Somerset and Frome respectively.

The Conservatives held onto Mr Johnson’s former seat with a reduced majority of 495 votes in a third by-election influenced by the proposed expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone.

One year on from the only budget of her brief tenure as prime minister, Liz Truss defended her policies. During a speech at the Institute for Government think tank in September, the ex-PM said the “political and economic establishment” prevented her from enacting her economic plans.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan was left teary eyed by Rishi Sunak’s speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. The Prime Minister used his speech at the start of October to announce his plan to stub out smoking and confirm that the Birmingham to Manchester leg of the High Speed 2 rail link would be scrapped.

Despite having glitter thrown over him by a protester near the beginning of his speech at Labour’s conference, Sir Keir Starmer celebrated two more by-election wins for his party later in October as Alistair Strathern and Sarah Edwards overturned big Conservative majorities in Mid Bedfordshire and Tamworth respectively.

US vice president Kamala Harris and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk were among the guests at the AI Safety Summit hosted at Bletchley Park in November, during which the Government announced a “world first agreement” between 28 countries on how to manage the riskiest forms of artificial intelligence.

Mr Sunak put law and order at the centre of the first King’s speech in more than 70 years.

Later in the month Suella Braverman was sacked as home secretary after coming under heavy criticism for

writing an opinion piece in The Times newspaper in which she questioned the impartiality of police over the way they handle demonstrations.

Her position was filled by James Cleverly who, in turn, was replaced as foreign secretary by former prime minister Lord David Cameron who received a surprise peerage which enabled him to return to the Cabinet.

The Government’s plan to deport migrants to Rwanda was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court. This prompted Mr Cleverly to travel to Rwanda to sign a new immigration treaty, which he says addresses the concerns of the court.

Mr Sunak’s new plan was not enough to satisfy Robert Jenrick, however, who resigned as immigration minister, arguing the legislation “does not go far enough”. But, despite much hand-wringing by MPs on the right of the Tory party, the Safety of Rwanda Bill passed second reading in the Commons by 313 votes to 269.

Share This Article
By admin
test bio
Leave a comment