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111 Tweets Which Sum Up 2016 In British Politics

Everything was on fire.

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1. 2016 in UK politics started relatively quietly, with only a slightly bitter fortnight-long Labour reshuffle to keep people going.

We should stage a fundraiser for @MichaelDugher so he can afford a big enough ladder to get over himself. #reshuffle

2. It went on and on and on.

If you're ever sad, just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and somehow the Labour reshuffle started 4.544 billion years ago.

3. Still, with that out of the way Jeremy Corbyn could get on with having his Twitter account hacked.

4. Sadly this statement was later retracted.

You may remember David Cameron, who was prime minister before everything went "a bit 2016".

You may remember David Cameron, who was prime minister before everything went "a bit 2016".

5. In a prescient warning about the quality of debate in the EU referendum, UKIP's Scottish leader had some serious complaints.

My toaster takes 4 attempts before bread goes brown and can put. My Dundee marmalade on many thanks to EU

6. Meanwhile, former Labour leader Ed Miliband spent his days wandering the streets of London hoping to appear alongside schoolchildren in viral videos.

7. He had some success.

8. George Osborne delivered the Budget in March, although no one can now remember what he said.

S Club 7 haven't aged well. #Budget2016

9. Then for some reason someone in Jeremy Corbyn's office decided to list every Labour MP into slightly daft categories, before leaving a copy lying around.

Leaked in Times: Team Corbyn rank every MP: 19 core group 56 core group + 72 neutral 49 core group - 36 hostile

10. People felt the categories were unusual.

Core Group: Pikachu, Wartortle Core Group Plus: Bulbasaur Neutral But Not Hostile: Butterfree Core Group Negative: Mudkip Hostile: Squirtle

11. Some were saddened.

That feeling when you get on the 'Neutral But Not Hostile' bus by mistake

12. Other lists were found.

Found in the tea room. Words fail me.

13. There was an election in Scotland, notably mainly for when Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie tried to give an interview while some pigs fucked in the background.

Looking back over today's Willie Rennie i/v. "We like to send a pictorial message about what we're asking for."

14. Jeremy Corbyn spent a lot of time looking moody.

Why does Jeremy Corbyn look like he's about to drop the alt-folk album of the year

15. Even with Ed Miliband.

"Legendary electronic music pioneers release their first new material in 20 years"

16. David Cameron had a bit of a kerfuffle over his father's offshore bank accounts.

When your mum gave you a fiver for milk and asks why there's no change

17. Liz Kendall ended up sulking with a small child following a Green party broadcast.

I literally loved meeting little Liz...the amazing Ava

18. Labour found itself involved in an anti-Semitism row, which former mayor of London Ken Livingstone improved by repeatedly referencing Hitler and then being chased by Labour MP John Mann.

The most offensive thing about that Ken Livingstone/ John Mann clip is the way Ken's wearing his bag.

19. He then headed into a toilet.

Ken Livingstone escaping questions over whether he agrees with Hitler by running into a disabled toilet, there.

20. Which went well.

Ken Livingstone is in a toilet and the British news media are camped outside the door asking if he agrees with Hitler.

21. Zac Goldsmith did his best to avoid looking a bit racist while running a bit of a racist campaign to be mayor of London.

Zac Goldsmith: I *Love* Bollywood films Interviewer: oh cool, what's your fave? Zac: *Fails to name a single film*

22. Then the referendum campaign started in earnest. Boris Johnson eventually decided to back Leave and spent several weeks waving food products around.

Boris holds Cornish pasty aloft victoriously from Brexit bus. Like an English Nixon.

23. Politicians rarely strayed off message.

Because when you think "Hitler", you think "easy travel round Europe, strong emphasis on human rights".

24. One campaign group attempted a continually catastrophic attempt to organise an anti-EU concert, where they booked dozens of bands at great expense.

A statement regarding our withdrawing from the #BPopLive #Brexit event in Birmingham, UK in June.

25. Unfortunately this led to dozens of acts pulling out when they found out it was, um, an anti-EU music festival.

Struggling to keep up with the excitement of #BPopLive

26. There were many attempts by politicians to reach out to a new audience ahead of the referendum. Jeremy Corbyn appeared on Channel 4's The Last Leg looking pretty smart, only to say he wasn't 100% keen on the EU.

27. David Cameron came to BuzzFeed for a Facebook Live event, where a woman repeatedly swore at him and Sky News was forced to issue an apology despite this being some of the most highbrow debate in the entire referendum campaign.

A town hall event by FB & Buzzfeed. Dont think Cameron was expecting this...go on girl tell him your feelings 😀😀

28. In the middle of all this notorious Everton fan Andy Burnham decided to run to be mayor of Greater Manchester.

29. The referendum campaign rolled on. Nigel Farage chose to lead a flotilla of boats up the Thames in a pro-Brexit display of fish.

Picture of the pro-Brexit flotilla of ships heading up the Thames to the heart of pro-Remain London. (This is real.)

30. Bob Geldof turned up, again.

So I’m on a Remain boat with Bob Geldof and Rachel Johnson. They’re heading off Nigel Farage’s Thames flotilla.

31. This really was a thing that happened.

SHOTS FIRED! A Leave vessel just hit Remain supporters with a hose

32. With Farage involved.

I ask Nigel Farage why he's taken up cigarettes again. Farage: "I think the doctors have got it wrong on smoking"

33. Which then got a bit out of control.

Harbour Master is frantically gesturing at the Geldof boat. Geldof is screaming. Someone just accused a dinghy of being from Goldman Sachs.

34. And it all ground to a halt outside parliament.

Trawlermen are trying to board Bob Geldof's boat outside parliament. Not a joke. Police intervening.

35. The referendum night was very exciting, with lots of top quality analysis.

"There's been a goal in the Leave vs Remain game, Ed, what happened!?" "Unbelievable Jeff!"

36. People on Twitter spotted the real story of the night.

stop everything. this looks like a pig wearing a top hat

37. In the morning the world's press gathered in Downing Street to await David Cameron's resignation as prime minister, only for Larry the cat to try and take the podium.

Holy shit, they replaced David Cameron with a cat.

38. The morning after the result everything went a bit wrong.

Coming soon to Thorpe Park: the value of the pound

39. The pound crashed against the dollar.

First images released of design for new £1 coin.

40. Remain voters looked for someone to blame.

When you voted to leave the EU but you gunna die soon so it's not your problem

41. Some people were confused as to who had to take charge of Brexit Britain.

Take back control. No you take it back. No you fucking take it. You touched it last.

42. Although Scotland had some views on the result.

And as we wake up this morning...Glasgow reacts in the only way it feels right...sweet and fitting etc #BorisJohnson

43. Some very...

An Englishman, a Scotsman and an Irishman went to a bar. They all had to leave because the Englishman wanted to go.

44. ...strong...

gon tell me the difference between these two photos, cos i dinny see any

45. ...views.

Wit if Scotland just refuses to leave the eu? Like aw just say naw n tell England "wit ye gonny Dae phone the polis?"

46. Labour deputy leader Tom Watson decided he'd had enough so ~~mysteriously~~ kept posting updates from Glastonbury festival.

Tom Watson currently in a tent in a muddy field with 5,000 missed calls

47. Before being papped on the station while trying to get back to London with a killer hangover and 3% phone battery.

The best thing about this photo of Tom Watson is that they've managed to capture his actual thought bubble.

48. Which was appropriate.

Tom Watson is the only person in the country who's actually left Glastonbury to go and wade into a field full of shit.

49. Back in London, things were going well as everyone who has ever worked for Labour kept resigning in an attempt to force Jeremy Corbyn out of office.

“Leave it, Jez, ‘e ain’t worth it. We’ve all ‘ad a drink.” - “Come back here, Miliband, and say that to my face.”

50. They just kept going.

It's hard to keep track of what's left of the original shadow cabinet. Here's a handy bingo card:

51. He just wouldn't do it though.

Jeremy Corbyn must do the decent thing. Prune that rosebush outside his front door so he doesn’t have to duck under it every morning.

52. The coup meant some of Labour's most obscure MPs ever were forced to take frontline jobs.

"How does it feel to be the new Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland?"

53. Basically by the end no one could keep up.

An MP appointed to replace an MP who had resigned from the shadow cabinet has resigned from the shadow cabinet.

54. Slightly embarrassingly the mass resignations just... well, just didn't work. Corbyn stayed, awaiting a formal leadership challenge.

decent summary of the #LabourCoup so far

55. Even though that's not what the MPs expected to happen.

56. In an attempt to show unity, the new shadow cabinet met and looked nervous while TV microphones picked up the awkwardness.

Just look at Tom Watson's face.

Just look at Tom Watson's face.

57. All of this was doing wonders for Britain's reputation overseas.

58. Although at least the country had a new name.

The Post's post-Brexit portmanteau for England and Wales is "Wangland"

59. At this point the Conservatives decided that Labour was getting too much attention. So Michael Gove decided to knife his Vote Leave ally Boris Johnson in the back and force him out of the Tory leadership race.

The lobby's reaction as expressed by @SamCoatesTimes

60. Which capped a pretty awful decade's worth of leadership scheming by Johnson.

61. At least it was dramatic to watch.

Boris Johnson executes his meticulously-planned political strategy:

62. In the middle of this MPs in the House of Commons were mainly talking about Lindsay Lohan's tweets.

Chris Grayling says Lohan has not fulfilled her career potential, in part because she hasn't visited Kettering. SERIOUSLY WHAT IS HAPPENING.

63. Lindsay later asked them to get in touch but never made it to Kettering. Oh dear, Lindsay.

@MPChrisGrayling and #philiphollobone Direct message me about your offer. Would be happy to light the Christmas tree in #Kettering 🙏🏻

64. One of the upsides of the Tory leadership campaign was the greatest march on parliament since the English Civil War, organised by supporters of Andrea Leadsom.

Stop everything and watch this video of Andrea Leadsom's march on parliament.

65. Which was so awkward it impressed many of her fellow Conservatives.

.@jimwaterson is that Theresa Villiers *actually* clutching her pearls with discomfort at 4 secs from end? I thought that was just a saying.

66. Michael Gove's own leadership campaign was a great success, lasting around five days.

67. Instead it cleared the way for a Conservative leadership contest between Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May.

Andrea Leadsom has one Twitter list. It is called Andrea Leadsom & it has one member: Andrea Leadsom.

68. David Cameron got so excited by this he started levitating.

Took me a second to figure out what's going on here.

69. Meanwhile over in Labour land every single shadow minister had resigned at least twice. Angela Eagle then waited a fortnight and then launched her leadership campaign. It didn't go very well.

I've seen this kind of styling somewhere before

At the exact moment Eagle took to the stage Andrea Leadsom decided she'd had enough of being mocked and would quit the Tory leadership race.

70. This meant Theresa May would automatically be prime minister, which was a shock to some people.

71. David Cameron was swiftly turfed out of Downing Street, bowing out after a slightly odd final prime minister's questions.

David Cameron tells #PMQs: The rumours aren't true - I love Larry the cat. He even shows the photo to prove it

72. This was now standard.

Cameron holds up a picture of a cat in #PMQs, shouts I LOVE THIS CAT and this just seems normal after the last few weeks of British politics

73. And just like that Britain had a new, strangely glossy leader.

74. With new priorities.

Ok ladies now let's stop immigration

75. Everyone was in on the craze of the summer, while Tories hoped for jobs.

Colleagues walking around Westminster staring at phones. Not sure if they're waiting for "the call" or trying to catch Pokemon. #reshuffle

76. ...while vanquished ministers looked forward to a brighter, drunker future.

Ex-Culture secretary John Whittingdale on his plans for the rest of the day. "We are going to get drunk," he tells me. #CabinetReshuffle

77. Angela Eagle decided she'd had enough and quit the Labour leadership race.

Big fan of Angela Eagle shouting "porridge".

78. Leaving Owen Smith to set the agenda over the summer.

'For backdrop we think half of a blind with loads of shadow' 'And the thermostat?' 'Should be able to fit it in'

79. Which went well.

perhaps @OwenSmith_MP should work on privatizing himself because he's being very publicly owned right now

80. By this point everything in British politics had been on fire for weeks.

Remember when we spent like a week tweeting about the pasty tax, now we get like 48 hours between new PMs, mass murder and military coups

81. By August Theresa May was busy establishing herself on the world stage.

Theresa May shocks audiences by pulling German Chancellor Angela Merkel out of a giant top hat

82. Boris Johnson, who had somehow ended up as foreign secretary, settled into his new role.

Face of a man who's starting to realise the rock-hard presidents of Baltic states don't give a shit about Latin puns

83. Slowly but surely.

Turns out having Boris as foreign sec is going pretty much exactly like we thought it would be.

84. While Nigel Farage decided to adopt the persona of an ageing 1970s porn star.

"I'm standing to be UKIP leader. Who's Nigel Farage? Never heard of him. Did he also have a moustache?"

85. Andy Burnham was deeply attracted to the idea of getting out of the Westminster firestorm by heading to be mayor of Greater Manchester.

Congratulations Andy Burnham. I've had no new job offers for 4 weeks. Now a tricky choice between Shadow Home Secretary or Emperor of Japan.

86. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan went a bit too far.

Sadiq Khan says night tube commuters will include "a middle-aged clubber like me coming home after a late night out with your missus." 😓

87. Lots of major issues were discussed in the Labour leadership campaign.

88. Anti-Corbyn Labour MPs prepared for war.

Final session of 1st day with Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme at @HCSCShrivenham seeing Challenger 2 tank

89. While Jeremy Corbyn shared a stage with UB40.

"Do you like classical music?", Corbyn asks a member of UB40 on the panel. The pair talk about classical music for a while.

90. In the end Corbyn easily won the leadership contest and everything settled down a bit.

91. Theresa May kept telling everyone "Brexit means Brexit", even if some of her party's politician thought she meant "breakfast".

92. Jeremy Corbyn stood up in the House of Commons and said Theresa May lacked a cunning plan.

Jeremy Corbyn says Theresa May's Brexit plan is like Baldrick: "our cunning plan is not to have a plan" cc @Tony_Robinson

93. Baldrick weighed in.

94. We had a Brexit court case.

95. But the government insisted there was a plan.

I have a Brexit plan. You don't know her. She goes to another school

96. Things were getting a bit much for everyone.

Every day I feel blessed for having Twitter in my life

97. Ed Balls appeared on Strictly Come Dancing.

Want to feel old? This is what Shaun from This Is England looks like now.

98. He was inexplicably popular.

[ed balls, january 2015] ed (to monkey's paw): make me the most popular left-wing politician in the West, sweet paw [one finger curls]

99. Which led to people asking if he could sort out Brexit.

100. The Lib Dems won a by-election and got very excited.

101. Leaks kept happening.

Meanwhile in Westminster, cabinet office launches leak inquiry into how memo banning leaks was leaked, which has now been itself leaked

102. Basically, everyone wanted out.

Merkel: "Hands up if you're looking forward to your retirement"

103. People in parliament just gave up even trying.

Bloody hell. Jamiroquai has let himself go.

104. While Eric Pickles applied for Gary Lineker's job with Walkers.

At the Cubs celebration I also met Harriett Cheese. So this is a Cheese and Pickles official photo

105. Ed Miliband became a stock image model on US news programmes.

Ed Miliband Is Being Used As A Stock Picture On American TV News:

106. The end was near.

Me at the start of 2016 vs. me at the end of 2016.

107. Some people enjoyed it more than others.

Me at the start of 2016 v me at the end of 2016

108. Some weathered it better.

109. By the final prime minister's questions of the year some MPs just looked really rough.

110. Still, some progress was made in the course of 2016.

Has Ken Livingstone given his first interview of 2016 where he doesn't mention Hitler?

111. That's your year in politics, everyone.

2015 politics: ed miliband eats a sandwich a bit weirdly 2016 politics: everything is on fire

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at

Marie Le Conte is a politics and media reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Marie Le Conte at

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