COBRA is the British Government’s emergency response committee set up to respond to a national or regional crisis. Standing for Cabinet Office Briefing Room A, the COBRA Committee comes together in moments of perceived crisis under the chairmanship of either the Prime Minister or the Home Secretary. 






At COBRA meetings, decisions and a possible response, sometimes simply a press conference, are made under real or imagined conditions of emergency and/or crisis. *


The committee can evoke emergency powers such as suspending Parliament or restricting movement. Such emergency -based responses have ranged from tackling Ash Dieback disease to the deployment of military hardware on civilian rooftops during the London Olympics.

Emergency and crisis-based politics are becoming increasingly common as modes of contemporary governance in an age of hyped terrorism and economic and environmental crises.

As far as we are able to clarify, the COBRA Committee has been meeting since 1984 and has met in recent years in response to:


2007           Car bomb explodes at Glasgow airport.

2007           Two car bombs found near Tiger Tiger nightclub,                                     London.

2007           Foot and Mouth outbreak. 2009 15 British Naval Crew                             are captured in Iranian territorial waters.


2010           Eyjafjallajokull Volcano eruption in Iceland.

2010           Discovery of bombs in ink cartridges on UPS airplanes                             bound for the U.S.


2011           No-fly zone over Libya.

2011           Summer riots in London.


2012           London Olympics.

2012           Ash Tree Dieback disease.


             -----COBRA RES project started-----


2013           British and international hostages held in                                                  Tiguentourine gas plant in Algeria.

2013           Lee Rigby killed in Woolwich, south London.

2013           British hostages held in Westgate shopping Centre,                                 Nairobi, Kenya.


2013/14      Mass floods and tidal surges across United Kingdom.


2014           Seven ‘suspect packages’ sent to Army Recruitment                                 offices in United Kingdom.

2014           Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine.

2014           Continued outbreak of Ebola disease in West Africa.

2014            Islamic State (IS) force thousands of Kurdish Yardis to flee                      their homes and take refuge on Mount Sinjar, Iraq.


2015           Attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket, Paris.

2015           NHS workers propose nationwide strikes over pay.

2015           Possible Greek exit from the European Union.