23 pictures that sum up a truly crazy year in UK politics

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Nigel Farage Diane James kiss Toby Melville/Reuters Nigel Farage congratulates Diane James.

LONDON - 2016 was an absolutely crazy year for UK politics.

We saw Britain vote to leave the EU, get a new prime minister, four party leadership contests (including two in the same party), and plenty other historic and surreal moments.

To put it mildly, it was a pretty exhausting year for everybody involved.... journalists included.

Take this opportunity to look back on an eventful year with this selection of poignant and perfectly-timed pictures.

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In May, Sadiq Khan became the first Muslim mayor of any European capital city by winning the London mayoral election. The Labour man defeated Tory Zac Goldsmith in a bitter contest.

In May, Sadiq Khan became the first Muslim mayor of any European capital city by winning the London mayoral election. The Labour man defeated Tory Zac Goldsmith in a bitter contest.

In the early part of 2016, campaigning got underway for the June EU referendum. Vote Leave's claim that Brexit will mean an extra £350 million a week for the NHS became synonymous with the dishonesty of the campaign.

In the early part of 2016, campaigning got underway for the June EU referendum. Vote Leave's claim that Brexit will mean an extra £350 million a week for the NHS became synonymous with the dishonesty of the campaign.

The campaign took a surreal turn when a boat manned by Brexiteers came face to face with a pro-EU boat in the middle of the River Thames.

The campaign took a surreal turn when a boat manned by Brexiteers came face to face with a pro-EU boat in the middle of the River Thames.

Nigel Farage, who was on board the pro-Brexit boat, sparked outrage weeks later by standing in front of a poster depicting hundreds of refugees with the caption "Breaking Point."

Nigel Farage, who was on board the pro-Brexit boat, sparked outrage weeks later by standing in front of a poster depicting hundreds of refugees with the caption "Breaking Point."

The referendum campaigns were suspended out of respect for Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed on the streets of her Yorkshire constituency by a far-right extremist on June 16.

The referendum campaigns were suspended out of respect for Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed on the streets of her Yorkshire constituency by a far-right extremist on June 16.

On June 23, Farage and co celebrated as Britain voted to leave the European Union. The result shocked the world and defied the projections of most pollsters and experts.

On June 23, Farage and co celebrated as Britain voted to leave the European Union. The result shocked the world and defied the projections of most pollsters and experts.

The result led to the resignation of David Cameron as prime minister after more than five years in office.

The result led to the resignation of David Cameron as prime minister after more than five years in office.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited Chilcot report into the UK's role in the Iraq invasion was published — seven years after it was first announced.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited Chilcot report into the UK's role in the Iraq invasion was published — seven years after it was first announced.

The report condemned former Labour prime minister Tony Blair, who led the UK into the war based on insufficient and misleading evidence.

The report condemned former Labour prime minister Tony Blair, who led the UK into the war based on insufficient and misleading evidence.

A week later former Home Secretary Theresa May succeeded Cameron as prime minister, becoming just the second female prime minister in British history.

A week later former Home Secretary Theresa May succeeded Cameron as prime minister, becoming just the second female prime minister in British history.

One of May's first jobs was to try and unite a country divided by the referendum result. Over the summer thousands of Remainers gathered outside Westminster to express their dismay.

One of May's first jobs was to try and unite a country divided by the referendum result. Over the summer thousands of Remainers gathered outside Westminster to express their dismay.

Divide was also the theme of the Labour Party over the summer. Jeremy Corbyn was forced to fight for his leadership after a challenge from Owen Smith, who was backed by the vast majority of his fellow Labour MPs.

Divide was also the theme of the Labour Party over the summer. Jeremy Corbyn was forced to fight for his leadership after a challenge from Owen Smith, who was backed by the vast majority of his fellow Labour MPs.

The contest took a bizarre turn when Corbyn became engulfed in a row with Richard Brandon's Virgin Trains. The company accused Corbyn of falsely claiming that the train he travelled on had no seats available. The scandal became known as "Traingate."

The contest took a bizarre turn when Corbyn became engulfed in a row with Richard Brandon's Virgin Trains. The company accused Corbyn of falsely claiming that the train he travelled on had no seats available. The scandal became known as "Traingate."

Traingate wasn't enough to derail Corbyn. He crushed Owen Smith to retain his leadership at the party's Liverpool conference in September.

Traingate wasn't enough to derail Corbyn. He crushed Owen Smith to retain his leadership at the party's Liverpool conference in September.

Labour wasn't the only party to have a leadership contest. The resignation of Farage led to the election of Diane James as UKIP leader, who then resigned 19 days later.

Labour wasn't the only party to have a leadership contest. The resignation of Farage led to the election of Diane James as UKIP leader, who then resigned 19 days later.

UKIP's rising star Steven Woolfe was initially favourite to replace James until he was hospitalised after a punch-up with fellow MEP Mike Hookem. Woolfe later quit the party.

UKIP's rising star Steven Woolfe was initially favourite to replace James until he was hospitalised after a punch-up with fellow MEP Mike Hookem. Woolfe later quit the party.

While UKIP was fighting with itself, the prime minister was trying to maintain good relations with the EU ahead of exit talks getting underway.

While UKIP was fighting with itself, the prime minister was trying to maintain good relations with the EU ahead of exit talks getting underway.

May's plan for taking Britain out of the EU hit a major speedbump when the High Court ruled that MPs must give their approval before the PM can trigger Article 50. The legal case was spearheaded by investment manager Gina Miller.

May's plan for taking Britain out of the EU hit a major speedbump when the High Court ruled that MPs must give their approval before the PM can trigger Article 50. The legal case was spearheaded by investment manager Gina Miller.

Farage was busy cosying up with US president-elect Donald Trump, which led to this surreal shot of the populists posing in an escalator in Trump Tower.

Farage was busy cosying up with US president-elect Donald Trump, which led to this surreal shot of the populists posing in an escalator in Trump Tower.

Back at home, the political landscape was shifting. The resurgent Lib Dems pulled off a stunning by-election victory in Richmond Park, where disgruntled Remainers booted out former Tory MP Zac Goldsmith in favour of a pro-EU candidate.

Back at home, the political landscape was shifting. The resurgent Lib Dems pulled off a stunning by-election victory in Richmond Park, where disgruntled Remainers booted out former Tory MP Zac Goldsmith in favour of a pro-EU candidate.

The prime minister ended the year looking like a lonely figure at a meet-up of EU leaders in Brussels in December.

The prime minister ended the year looking like a lonely figure at a meet-up of EU leaders in Brussels in December.
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