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United Kingdom

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Index
  1. United Kingdom Main Page
  2. The Magna Carta Is Signed and a House of Commons Is Born
  3. The Church of England Is Established and Parliament Reigns Supreme
  4. England's Empire Grows While the American Colonies Revolt
  5. Democratic Government Emerges
  6. Britain Enters WWII
  7. Britain Enters European Community and Margaret Thatcher Becomes First Female Prime Minister
  8. Tony Blair and the Labor Party End Conservative Rule
  9. Britain Supports Post-Sept. 11 America, Enters the Iraq War
  10. Terror Strikes at Home
  11. Gordon Brown Succeeds Blair
  12. A Historic Changing of the Guard
  13. Royal Wedding Precedes Media Scandal
  14. London Sets New Olympic Record
  15. Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes and Receives Royal Approval
  16. The Duchess of Cambridge Gives Birth to a Baby Boy
  17. Parliament Rejects Cameron's Plan to Strike Syria
Gordon Brown Succeeds Blair

In May 2007, Blair announced that he would leave office on June 27. Gordon Brown, the chancellor of the exchequer, succeeded Blair. Brown is a study in contrasts to Blair. Brown, typically dour, lacks Blair's charisma and quick wit. The new prime minister faces the task of shoring up the Labour Party, which has not fared well in recent elections, and of regaining the public's trust. Both have suffered from Britain's support of the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

Just two days into Brown's term, police defused two bombs found in cars parked in the West End section of London. The attackers, who officials say are linked to al-Qaeda, tried and failed to detonate the bombs using cell phones. Police detained several foreign-born suspects, several of whom were doctors. The next day, on June 30, an SUV carrying bombs burst into flames after it slammed into an entrance to Glasgow Airport.

In July 2007, four Islamist men, all originally from the Horn of Africa, were sentenced to life in prison by a British judge for attempting to bomb the London transit system on July 21, 2005.

On June 11, 2008, despite much opposition, a new counterterrorism bill passed by a nine-vote margin in the House of Commons. The bill allows the detention of terrorism suspects for up to 42 days without charges, extending the current 28-day detention limit. The vote was seen as a much-needed victory for beleaguered prime minister Brown. On Oct. 13, 2008, in a setback for Brown, the House of Lords rejected the bill in a 309 to 118 vote.

Gordon Brown and Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki made a joint announcement in December 2008, stating that all British troops would be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of July 2009.

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