Year in review: Top 20 biggest news searches of 2019

Andy WellsFreelance Writer

It has been yet another year packed full of news, and searches on Yahoo UK have revealed exactly what users have most been interested in finding out more about.

Politics has been at the forefront of 2019’s biggest stories - from Brexit to a brand new prime minister to a General Election that changed the political landscape.

Some of the year’s biggest players - including Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump - all feature in the list, which is dominated by the comings and goings of Westminster.

Other more surprising entries include ‘Boeing 737 MAX’ after the aircraft was grounded over safety concerns.

Also away from the world of politics, 2019 saw weather disasters and the environment become major talking points, with the emergence of Extinction Rebellion hitting the headlines across the globe.

Here we take a look at the biggest news searches of the year, with some no doubt featuring on the list by the end of 2020...

Year in review: Most searched News of 2019 (Click for slideshow)
Year in review: Most searched News of 2019 (Click for slideshow)
Year in review: Most searched News of 2019 (Click for slideshow)
This year was the year Julian Assange <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/julian-assange-time-ecuadorian-embassy-100211217.html" data-ylk="slk:was finally removed;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>was finally removed</strong></a> from the Ecuadorian embassy and arrested after his asylum was withdrawn. The WikiLeaks founder was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching the Bail Act, though a <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/sweden-drops-rape-investigation-involving-julian-assange-132900305.html" data-ylk="slk:rape investigation against him;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>rape investigation against him</strong></a> was later dropped. (Getty)
20: Julian Assange
This year was the year Julian Assange was finally removed from the Ecuadorian embassy and arrested after his asylum was withdrawn. The WikiLeaks founder was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching the Bail Act, though a rape investigation against him was later dropped. (Getty)
Jacob Rees-Mogg became an important person in the Brexit saga as his ERG group refused to back Theresa May's deal. Mr Rees-Mogg was later promoted to the Cabinet by Boris Johnson but he was sidelined in the election over <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/jacob-rees-mogg-grenfell-residents-stay-put-lacked-common-sense-075603053.html" data-ylk="slk:comments he made about the Grenfell disaster;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>comments he made about the Grenfell disaster</strong></a>. (Getty)
19: Jacob Rees-Mogg
Jacob Rees-Mogg became an important person in the Brexit saga as his ERG group refused to back Theresa May's deal. Mr Rees-Mogg was later promoted to the Cabinet by Boris Johnson but he was sidelined in the election over comments he made about the Grenfell disaster. (Getty)
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Holiday firm Thomas Cook <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/thomas-cook-asks-government-for-bailout-as-it-tries-to-prevent-collapse-122107031.html" data-ylk="slk:went into administration;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>went into administration</strong></a> in September, resulting in cancelled holidays and stranded Brits across the globe. Some 150,000 British citizens were repatriated from abroad - the UK's biggest peacetime repatriation. (Getty)
18: Thomas Cook
Holiday firm Thomas Cook went into administration in September, resulting in cancelled holidays and stranded Brits across the globe. Some 150,000 British citizens were repatriated from abroad - the UK's biggest peacetime repatriation. (Getty)
Hurricane Dorian is regarded as the worst natural disaster in the history of the Bahamas. The tropical cyclone was <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/space-station-image-of-hurricane-dorian-captures-storms-monstrous-eye-180714357.html" data-ylk="slk:one of the most powerful hurricanes recorded;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>one of the most powerful hurricanes recorded</strong></a> in the Atlantic Ocean and resulted in some 70 deaths and damage of upwards of £6 billion. (Getty)
17: Hurricane Dorian
Hurricane Dorian is regarded as the worst natural disaster in the history of the Bahamas. The tropical cyclone was one of the most powerful hurricanes recorded in the Atlantic Ocean and resulted in some 70 deaths and damage of upwards of £6 billion. (Getty)
British schoolgirl Shamima Begum <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/the-360-should-british-isis-fighters-be-allowed-to-return-home-124511068.html" data-ylk="slk:asked to return to Britain;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>asked to return to Britain</strong></a> this year, having left the country to join terror group Isis in 2015. However, she was stripped of citizenship and has been told she will never be allowed to return. (BBC)
16: Shamima Begum
British schoolgirl Shamima Begum asked to return to Britain this year, having left the country to join terror group Isis in 2015. However, she was stripped of citizenship and has been told she will never be allowed to return. (BBC)
London came to a standstill this year as climate change protest group <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/tagged/extinction-rebellion/" data-ylk="slk:Extinction Rebellion" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><strong>Extinction Rebellion</strong></a> took to the streets in a series of stunts designed to cause maximum disruption. The group put the phrase 'climate emergency' onto the political map but drew criticism for <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/commuters-fight-back-against-extinction-rebellion-protestors-who-climbed-on-top-of-tube-during-rush-hour-072202059.html" data-ylk="slk:blocking commuters;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>blocking commuters</strong></a> on public transport. (Getty)
15: Climate Protests
London came to a standstill this year as climate change protest group Extinction Rebellion took to the streets in a series of stunts designed to cause maximum disruption. The group put the phrase 'climate emergency' onto the political map but drew criticism for blocking commuters on public transport. (Getty)
Winning the European Elections just weeks after it was formed, <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/tagged/brexit-party/" data-ylk="slk:the Brexit Party" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><strong>the Brexit Party</strong></a> were briefly the most popular party in the country, according to the polls. However, their future is now uncertain after failing to win seats at the General Election and Brexit likely to happen in January. (Getty)
14: Brexit Party
Winning the European Elections just weeks after it was formed, the Brexit Party were briefly the most popular party in the country, according to the polls. However, their future is now uncertain after failing to win seats at the General Election and Brexit likely to happen in January. (Getty)
Boris Johnson was always the favourite to win the Tory leadership contest and so it came to be following <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/theresa-may-resigns-090653622.html" data-ylk="slk:Theresa May's tearful resignation;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>Theresa May's tearful resignation</strong></a>. The contest saw divisions between Mr Johnson and those who took a softer stance on Brexit but the former London Mayor's stance ultimately won the argument. (Getty)
13: Tory Leadership
Boris Johnson was always the favourite to win the Tory leadership contest and so it came to be following Theresa May's tearful resignation. The contest saw divisions between Mr Johnson and those who took a softer stance on Brexit but the former London Mayor's stance ultimately won the argument. (Getty)
Boris Johnson <a href="https://uk.yahoo.com/poll/61a2fb80-d636-11e9-8909-096633f09171" data-ylk="slk:caused uproar for proroguing Parliament" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><strong>caused uproar for proroguing Parliament</strong></a> in October, which many believed he did to allow a no-deal Brexit. Protests about a 'coup' took place but MPs went straight back to work after Mr Johnson's actions <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/supreme-court-ruling-boris-johnson-parliament-suspension-unlawful-094210047.html" data-ylk="slk:were deemed 'unlawful';outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>were deemed 'unlawful'</strong></a> by the courts. (Getty)
12: Parliament Suspension
Boris Johnson caused uproar for proroguing Parliament in October, which many believed he did to allow a no-deal Brexit. Protests about a 'coup' took place but MPs went straight back to work after Mr Johnson's actions were deemed 'unlawful' by the courts. (Getty)
Just weeks after the party was set up, the Brexit Party - led by Nigel Farage - stormed to first place in the May European elections. The Lib Dems also did very well on a Remain ticket - but <a href="https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/can-lib-dems-win-manifesto-labour-tactical-vote-cambridge-remain-cities-general-election-uk-jo-swinson-094410450.html" data-ylk="slk:neither party made gains;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>neither party made gains</strong></a> in December's General Election. (Getty)
11: European Elections
Just weeks after the party was set up, the Brexit Party - led by Nigel Farage - stormed to first place in the May European elections. The Lib Dems also did very well on a Remain ticket - but neither party made gains in December's General Election. (Getty)
Speaker John Bercow finally stood down shortly before Parliament dissolved for the General Election - but not before he became a villain for Brexiteers after they accused him of helping Remain-supporting MPs block Brexit. His <a href="https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/video/john-bercow-wild-commons-row-163824309.html" data-ylk="slk:theatrical monologues in Parliament;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>theatrical monologues in Parliament</strong></a> also saw him become something of a celebrity across the globe. (PA)
10: John Bercow
Speaker John Bercow finally stood down shortly before Parliament dissolved for the General Election - but not before he became a villain for Brexiteers after they accused him of helping Remain-supporting MPs block Brexit. His theatrical monologues in Parliament also saw him become something of a celebrity across the globe. (PA)
It has been a mixed year for Nigel Farage, who topped the Euro elections in May with his brand new Brexit Party, but failed to win any seats in December's General Election. His decision to <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/nigel-farage-brexit-party-constituencies-boris-johnson-election-victory-122314181.html" data-ylk="slk:stand down over 300 candidates;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>stand down over 300 candidates</strong></a> was seen as a factor that led to the Tory landslide. (Getty)
9: Nigel Farage
It has been a mixed year for Nigel Farage, who topped the Euro elections in May with his brand new Brexit Party, but failed to win any seats in December's General Election. His decision to stand down over 300 candidates was seen as a factor that led to the Tory landslide. (Getty)
The anti-Semitism scandal within Labour <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/jeremy-corbyn-refuses-apologise-anti-semitism-bbc-andrew-neil-191637173.html" data-ylk="slk:refused to go away;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>refused to go away</strong></a>, with criticisms about Jeremy Corbyn's handling of the issue going all the way up to the Chief Rabbi. Despite a narrowing in the polls in the General Election, Mr Corbyn led his party <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/jeremy-corbyn-refuses-shoulder-blame-labours-general-election-defeat-123413458.html" data-ylk="slk:to a historic defeat;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>to a historic defeat </strong></a>and will step down as leader in 2020. (Getty)
8: Jeremy Corbyn
The anti-Semitism scandal within Labour refused to go away, with criticisms about Jeremy Corbyn's handling of the issue going all the way up to the Chief Rabbi. Despite a narrowing in the polls in the General Election, Mr Corbyn led his party to a historic defeat and will step down as leader in 2020. (Getty)
Boeing 737 Max Planes <a href="https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/boeing-737-max-suspension-industry-reaction-094022760.html" data-ylk="slk:were left sitting idle;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>were left sitting idle</strong></a> as the company continued to work on a software glitch that contributed to two fatal crashes. The crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed a total of 346 people. (Getty(
7: Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing 737 Max Planes were left sitting idle as the company continued to work on a software glitch that contributed to two fatal crashes. The crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed a total of 346 people. (Getty(
Prolonged periods of heavy rain in winter <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/flood-warnings-england-rain-weather-125551373.html" data-ylk="slk:saw devastating floods;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>saw devastating floods</strong></a> hit northern parts of the country. Homes and businesses were destroyed by the rising waters, while two deaths were reported. (Getty)
6: UK Flooding
Prolonged periods of heavy rain in winter saw devastating floods hit northern parts of the country. Homes and businesses were destroyed by the rising waters, while two deaths were reported. (Getty)
The Christmas General Election was finally granted when Parliament essentially came to a standstill over Brexit. Boris Johnson was always favourite to win but <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/exit-poll-result-uk-election-2019-220211224.html" data-ylk="slk:no one expected the landslide victory;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>no one expected the landslide victory</strong></a> over Labour that saw Jeremy Corbyn announce his attention to stand down in 2020. (Getty)
5: General Election
The Christmas General Election was finally granted when Parliament essentially came to a standstill over Brexit. Boris Johnson was always favourite to win but no one expected the landslide victory over Labour that saw Jeremy Corbyn announce his attention to stand down in 2020. (Getty)
Pressure on Theresa May refused to go away even after she announced she would step down once Brexit was done. Having <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/speaker-john-bercow-rules-another-vote-theresa-mays-brexit-deal-unless-motion-substantially-different-160104010.html" data-ylk="slk:failed to win a single vote on her deal;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>failed to win a single vote on her deal</strong></a>, the pressure became too much and she finally announced her intention to quit - paving the way for a certain former London Mayor to take over... (Getty)
4: Theresa May
Pressure on Theresa May refused to go away even after she announced she would step down once Brexit was done. Having failed to win a single vote on her deal, the pressure became too much and she finally announced her intention to quit - paving the way for a certain former London Mayor to take over... (Getty)
It has been a remarkable year for <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/tagged/boris-johnson/" data-ylk="slk:Boris Johnson" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><strong>Boris Johnson</strong></a> - few believed he had much chance of power at the start of 2019 but Mrs May's resignation paved the way for his ascent to Prime Minister. His strong stance on Brexit resulted in him landing a landslide election victory, putting him in Downing Street for at least the next five years. (Getty)
3: Boris Johnson
It has been a remarkable year for Boris Johnson - few believed he had much chance of power at the start of 2019 but Mrs May's resignation paved the way for his ascent to Prime Minister. His strong stance on Brexit resulted in him landing a landslide election victory, putting him in Downing Street for at least the next five years. (Getty)
Donald Trump continues to dominate headlines - from becoming the first sitting US president to <a href="https://uk.news.yahoo.com/north-korean-media-claims-donald-trump-lifted-sanctions-following-historic-summit-084228037.html" data-ylk="slk:visit North Korea in June;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>visit North Korea in June</strong></a>, to ending the year facing impeachment. 2020 will see him attempt to secure a second term, meaning there is little chance of him not making the news on a daily basis. (Getty)
2: Donald Trump
Donald Trump continues to dominate headlines - from becoming the first sitting US president to visit North Korea in June, to ending the year facing impeachment. 2020 will see him attempt to secure a second term, meaning there is little chance of him not making the news on a daily basis. (Getty)
Unsurprisingly, it was Brexit above all else that Yahoo users searched for. The issue claimed the scalp of Theresa May, elevated Boris Johnson to the top job and divided both MPs and the country as a whole. With <a href="https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/uk-general-election-5-day-124141543.html" data-ylk="slk:just a month until Britain leaves;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link"><strong>just a month until Britain leaves</strong></a>, there is no doubt it will remain high up on the list throughout 2020. (Getty)
1: Brexit
Unsurprisingly, it was Brexit above all else that Yahoo users searched for. The issue claimed the scalp of Theresa May, elevated Boris Johnson to the top job and divided both MPs and the country as a whole. With just a month until Britain leaves, there is no doubt it will remain high up on the list throughout 2020. (Getty)

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