Review of the Year: Political upheaval tops list with births, deaths and dirty deeds close behind

Council workers across Glasgow stage one of the UK's biggest strikes over equal pay. Picture: John Devlin
Council workers across Glasgow stage one of the UK's biggest strikes over equal pay. Picture: John Devlin
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In the final part of our Review of the Year, Martyn McLaughlin looks back over budgets, Brexit, the equal pay strike and images sent back from the Red Planet


A row breaks out over the impact in Scotland of the UK government’s budget. Chancellor Philip Hammond said it will provide an extra £950m for the Scottish Government over three years, but finance secretary Derek Mackay said Scotland was being “short-changed”.

Robert Chote, chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility, warns of a “genuine economic effect” from the widening gap between tax rates for higher earners in Scotland and those in the rest of the UK.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry rules that children were physically and sexually abused by nuns and priests over many years at two institutions run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urges activists at the SNP conference to take the case for independence into “every home, workplace and community”.

John Swinney announces an independent review into controversial primary one tests. The education secretary said the “independent, evidence-led review” would determine their future.

A ScotRail driver failed a drugs test after his train was derailed by a suspected signalling fault, The Scotsman reveals. The driver was suspended after the routine test.

A woman is awarded £80,000 in damages in a landmark civil case against a man who had previously been cleared of raping her.

Council workers across Glasgow stage one of the UK’s biggest strikes over equal pay. Primary schools and nurseries were closed as around 8,000 workers took action.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson gives birth to a baby boy, Finn Paul Davidson.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the billionaire owner of Leicester City FC, is among five people killed after his helicopter crashes outside the club’s stadium.

Sir Philip Green is named as the businessman at the centre of an injunction linked to allegations known as the British #MeToo scandal.

Jamal Khashoggi is murdered in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials say the journalist, a critic of the Saudi government, was killed by a team of Saudi agents on orders that came from the highest levels.

President Donald Trump’s controversial nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, is sworn in following weeks of debate.

Far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro secures a sweeping victory in Brazil’s presidential election. The former army captain has been criticised for his comments on race, women and homosexuality.

Paul Allen, the co-founder of computing giant, Microsoft, died aged 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society, the fourth oldest golf club in the world, becomes the latest historic course to accept women.


Brexit secretary Dominic Raab spearheads a series of resignations from Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet, warning there were “fatal flaws” in the draft Brexit agreement with the EU.

The heads of the 27 other EU governments take just 38 minutes to sign off the UK’s Brexit deal, paving the way for a crucial Commons vote.

A no-deal Brexit would trigger the deepest recession for a century and send house prices falling by nearly a third, the Bank of England warns.

The National Crime Agency confirms it is investigating Arron Banks and his Leave.EU campaign for alleged offences committed at the 2016 referendum on Britain’s future in the European Union.

William Lindsay, a vulnerable teenager, killed himself at Polmont Young Offenders’ Institution within 48 hours of being remanded, despite having been flagged as a suicide risk, The Scotsman reveals..

Scottish primary and secondary pupils are to become the first in the world to be taught in a schools’ system that has LGBTI education embedded in the curriculum, education secretary John Swinney announces.

Services are held across the country to mark the Armistice centenary. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon laid a wreath at the Stone of Remembrance in Edinburgh, while a national service took place in Glasgow.

The tyre manufacturer, Michelin, is accused of “betrayal” after announcing plans to close its factory in Dundee – which employs 845 people – just 18 months after receiving £4.5m in public funding.

Celtic Boys Club founder, Jim Torbett, is jailed for six years after being convicted of sexually abusing three boys over an eight year period.

Andrew Fairlie,the award-winning chef, announces he is to step down from his two Michelin starred restaurant after being told by medics that they can no longer treat his brain tumour.

Scotland rugby legend and motor neurone disease campaigner, Doddie Weir, receives an honorary doctorate from Glasgow Caledonian University.

Democrats seize control of the US House of Representatives in the mid-term elections, although the Republicans strengthen their grip on the Senate.

After a dramatic seven minute plunge, NASA’s InSight probe makes touchdown on the surface of Mars before transmitting pictures taken from the red planet.

Former US president George HW Bush dies at the age of 94 at home in Houston, Texas, seven months after his wife, Barbara, passed away.

Lewis Hamilton wins his fifth F1 World Championship, making him the joint second most successful driver of all time. The 33-year-old is only the third man in history to win five world titles.


Parliament wrests back control of Brexit as the UK government suffers a series of damaging defeats in the Commons. In the most significant vote, MPs backed an amendment that means they will be able to rewrite any motion the government brings to the Commons in the days after a defeat on Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal. Facing defeat in parliament over her Mrs May calls off a crucial Commons vote on her deal so she can go back to Brussels and ask for changes to it.

Mrs May wins a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party by 200 to 117.

Unveiling his budget, Scotland’s finance secretary Derek Mackay says he will not pass on a tax break for higher earners that was announced by the chancellor in his UK budget.

Amanda Cox, a new mother from Peebles, is found dead in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after going missing following a visit to see her son in the neonatal unit.

Fife Council announces it is to axe a controversial national testing regime for five-year-olds in its schools.

Sir David Attenborough issues a stark warning that the collapse of civilisations and extinction of much of the natural world is “on the horizon” unless urgent action is taken to tackle climate change.

A sprawling industrial building in the Port of Leith is identified as the home of a major film and television studio for Scotland.

Alex Younger, the head of MI6, warns Russia against underestimating the organisation’s capabilities, as he gives a rare public speech at his alma mater, the University of St Andrews.

Glasgow-based artist, Charlotte Prodger, wins the coveted £25,000 Turner Prize for a personal film shot on her iPhone which reflects on her experiences of coming out as gay in rural Scotland.

Hundreds of people are injured and police make sweeping arrests as a series of violent protests are staged in France against fuel tax rises, living costs and other issues. The so-called ‘yellow vest’ movement forced President Emmanuel Macron to promise a minimum wage rise and tax concessions.

Five people are killed after a gun attack on a crowded Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg.

Celtic defeat Aberdeen 1-0 at Hampden to secure the Scottish League Cup. The victory is Celtic’s 22nd successive cup win since manager Brendan Rodgers took charge.