2 January - Steel industry

Workers at British Steel go on a nationwide strike over pay called by the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation, which has some 90,000 members among British Steel's 150,000 workforce. This is in a bid to get a 20% rise.

16 January - Quangos

A White Paper Report recommends 246 quangos should be abolished, saving £11,600,000 with a reduction of 3,700 public appointments.

17-22 January - Moscow Olympics

The Prime Minister (PM) tells MPs that in protest at Russia's intervention in Afghanistan, Britain would join the US in moves to have the Olympic Games moved from Moscow. The PM said she would formally request the British Olympic Association consider alternative sites but sports officials declared British athletes would compete in Moscow.

24 January - Defence

Defence Secretary announces that a £1bn programme to give Britain an effective nuclear deterrent was nearing completion for the Navy's four polaris submarines.

24 January - Russia

Lord Carrington announces restrictions on trade, technical aid and exchange visits with Russia as a protest against Soviet Union's action in Afghanistan. They include withdrawal of cheap trade credits, possible EEC ban on subsidised food, suspension of high level and ministerial contacts, cancellation of military exchanges, curbs on Soviet cultural visits and stricter controls on advanced technology.

17 February - British Steel

The first steelworks strike since 1926. British Steel announces that more than 11,000 jobs in Wales will be axed by the end of next month.

14-23 February - Winter Olympics

Great Britain and Northern Ireland compete at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, United States, and win one gold medal.

18 April - Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe becomes independent of the United Kingdom.

30 April - 5 May - Iranian Embassy siege

The Iranian Embassy Siege begins on 30 April. A six-man terrorist team calling itself the 'Democratic Revolutionary Movement for the Liberation of Arabistan' (DRMLA) captures the Embassy of Iran in Prince's Gate, Knightsbridge, central London, taking 26 hostages. On 5 May the SAS storm the Iranian Embassy building, kill five out of the six terrorists and free all the hostages.

19 June - Steelworkers' strike

The steelworkers' strike is called off on 1 April. The Industry Secretary announces a new measure to alleviate unemployment created by steel redundancies.

8 July -Miners' strike

Miners threatening to strike demand a 37% pay increase, ignoring pleas from Margaret Thatcher to hold down wage claims.

16 July - Post Office strikes

The Industry Secretary announces that postal monopoly will end and the Government will take powers to allow private operators to carry mail during strikes and if the Post Office's performance drops.

September - Iran-Iraq war

War begins between armed forces of Iraq and Iran.

10 October - Famous speech

Margaret Thatcher makes her famous 'The lady's not for turning' speech to the Conservative Party conference after MPs warn that her economic policy was responsible for the current recession and rising unemployment.

28 October - Jailed IRA terrorists' hunger strike

Margaret Thatcher declares that the government will not give in to seven jailed IRA terrorists who are on hunger strike in the Maze Prison in hope of winning prisoner of war status.

10 November - New Labour Party Leader

Michael Foot is elected new Leader of the Labour Party.