20 January - Iran

Iran releases 52 American hostages as Ronald Reagan is sworn in as US President. British government announces it will lift civil trade sanctions on Iran following the release of hostages.

5 February - Public sector pensions

Report published on the payment of inflation-proof pensions to public sector employees.

16 March - Leaks

Prime Minister announces that internal government inquiry had started to investigate 'leaks' to Sunday newspapers before the budget statement.

26 March - Politics

Social Democratic Party formed.

30 March - USA

Attempted assassination of US President Ronald Reagan outside a Washington, DC hotel.

3 April - Civil disorder

Over 80 people are injured in clashes between 300 'skinheads' and 400 asians in Southall.

10 April - Hunger strikes

Bobby Sands, an IRA member on hunger strike in the Maze prison, Northern Ireland, is elected MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone in a by-election.

11 April - Brixton riots

Over 300 people are injured and extensive damage is caused to property in Brixton riots.

23 April - Unemployment

Unemployment passes the 2.5 million mark.

5 May - Hunger strikes

Bobby Sands dies in Northern Ireland's Maze Prison after a 66-day hunger strike.

13 May - The Pope

Pope John Paul II is shot and nearly killed by a Turkish gunman in Vatican City.

21 May - France

François Mitterrand elected President of France.

16 June - Politics

Formation of the SDP-Liberal Alliance.

5 July - Toxteth riots

Toxteth riots break out in Liverpool.

17 July - Israel

Israeli aircraft bomb Beirut killing 300 civilians and resulting in global condemnation.

29 July - Royal wedding

The marriage of the Prince of Wales and the Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul's Cathedral.

3 October - Hunger strikes

Hunger strikes ends at Maze Prison after seven months and ten deaths.

6 October - Egypt

Egyptian president Anwar Sadat is assassinated.

10 October - IRA

Chelsea Barracks bombed by the Provisional IRA, killing two people.

12 October - British Leyland

British Leyland announces the closure of three factories - a move which will cost nearly 3,000 people their jobs.

14 October - Egypt

Vice President Hosni Mubarak is elected President of Egypt.

24 October- Nuclear policy

CND anti-nuclear march in London attracts over 250,000 people.

25 November - Brixton riots

Publication of report into the Brixton riots.

8 December - Mining

Arthur Scargill becomes leader of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).