From Jackie Weaver to Peppa Pig - the political year in pictures

By Kate Whannel
Political reporter, BBC News

  • Published

2021 was another busy year in UK politics - we've picked a selection of some of the best pictures.

Image source, Youtube
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The year started off badly with the UK once again under lockdown measures as the Alpha variant took hold. But light relief came in the unlikely form of Handforth Parish Council when one of its meetings descended into chaos. "You have no authority here Jackie Weaver," became the catchphrase of the month.
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2021 saw a bumper crop of elections in England, Scotland and Wales. The campaign trail can be a strange place. Here is SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon checking the teeth of a toy dinosaur.
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Boris Johnson's Conservatives continued to attract voters in traditional Labour strongholds. In May, they won a by-election in Hartlepool - a seat Labour had held since the constituency was formed in 1974.
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But was Conservative success in northern England and the Midlands coming at the expense of Tory safe seats elsewhere? The voters of Chesham and Amersham, Buckinghamshire, delivered an upset by electing a Lib Dem. The party's leader Sir Ed Davey celebrated the moment by taking an orange hammer to a blue wall.
Image source, UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor
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Labour breathed a sigh of relief when it held on to the Yorkshire seat of Batley and Spen. In a poignant moment, the new MP Kim Leadbeater delivered her first speech in Parliament under a plaque commemorating Jo Cox - the former Batley and Spen MP, but also her sister, who was murdered in June 2016.
Image source, Reuters
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Carbis Bay in Cornwall provided the backdrop for a meeting of some of the world's most powerful leaders when the UK hosted the G7 summit. The seaside resort provided plenty of photo opportunities including a barbeque on the beach and an early-morning swim for the PM.
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Things were less cordial for the prime minister when his former senior aide Dominic Cummings gave an interview to the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg. He was scathing about his ex-boss and admitted he had considered trying to oust him.
Image source, PA Media
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Sir Keir Starmer delivered his conference speech in Brighton, where he faced hecklers from the left of his party. The Labour leader hit back claiming he was more interested in "changing lives" than "shouting slogans".
Image source, HUW EVANS PICTURE AGENCY/SENEDD CYMRU
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Schoolchildren in Cardiff greeted the Queen as she arrived to open the sixth term of the Senedd - the Welsh Parliament
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Westminster was rocked when Conservative MP Sir David Amess was stabbed to death while holding a constituency surgery. The PM described the Southend MP as "one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics".
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At the beginning of the year, the Brexit transition period came to an end and the UK stopped following EU rules. However, problems emerged in Northern Ireland which saw supermarket supply issues and protests from the unionist community. Loyalists clashed with police during a protest against the post-Brexit arrangements.
Image source, Getty Images
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Protesters gathered in Glasgow where world leaders attempted to agree targets to tackle climate change. For the first time at a COP conference, there was an explicit plan to reduce use of coal. However, countries only agreed a commitment to "phase down" rather than "phase out" coal after a late intervention by China and India.
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In November, MPs - including Labour's Toby Perkins seen above - reacted angrily at government attempts to block the suspension of Conservative MP Owen Paterson, after he was found to have breached parliamentary rules on lobbying. It marked the beginning of a difficult period for the prime minister. Mr Paterson later resigned leading to a by-election which, in a dramatic upset, the Liberal Democrats won.
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One Sunday, Boris Johnson went on a family trip to Peppa Pig World, Hampshire. The visit made such an impression on him that he waxed lyrical about it to business leaders at a CBI conference.
Image source, PA Media
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In December, government spokeswoman Allegra Stratton resigned after a video emerged of her joking about a Christmas party in 2020 at No 10, which took place despite Covid restrictions. Questions about rule-breaking events held in Downing Street persisted throughout the month.
Image source, Instagram/Carrie Johnson
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There was some good news for the prime minister in December. His wife Carrie gave birth to a daughter whom they named Romy Iris Charlotte. "Romy after my aunt, Rosemary. Iris from the Greek, meaning rainbow. Charlotte [after] Boris' late mum whom we miss so much," Mrs Johnson explained.