Andy McSmith

Andy McSmith is a senior reporter at The Independent. He has vast experience in political journalism and has also appeared on documentaries for BBC Radio 4.

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Mandy Rice-Davies at Heathrow airport in July 1963, weeks before the Ward trial began

The Profumo affair: Mandy Rice-Davies' famed retort was a blow against deference

Young and clear-eyed, she saw the Ward trial for what it was and refused to play her role

Andy McSmith's Diary: The enemy within Chequers at Sam Cam's delayed 40th

There were many strange things about the party that David and Samantha Cameron threw at Chequers last week.

Britons march in London’s Oxford Street to protest at US action during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis

Cuba-US relations: How one Caribbean island stood up to Uncle Sam and became the home of radical chic

It had a romantic pull, a state ruled by men who still dressed like revolutionaries, and which defied the American behemoth

Andy McSmith's Diary: Leaked – the site of Ed Balls' tête-à-tête with Nick Clegg

Ed Balls ruffled a few feathers in the Labour Party 11 months ago, when he disclosed that he had had a talk with Nick Clegg, seemingly about the possibility of Labour going into coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Whitehall: Where 'smart working' means not having your own desk

If there is one thing a Whitehall civil servant surely needs, it is a desk.

Nick Clegg has accused the Tories of not being “straightforward” with the public and of “kidding themselves” if they believe they can achieve their proposed budget cuts

Coalition leaders trade blows over plans for economy

The Conservatives are clinging to the hope that they can win an outright majority at next year's general election

Tributes have been paid to former Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe, who fought for investment in his beloved North Devon

Jeremy Thorpe death: A charismatic leader brought low by a scandal that titillated the nation

Witty and flamboyant in his Edwardian suits, under him the Liberals’ fortunes revived

Books of the year 2014: Politics, from Margot Asquith's Great War Diary to Winston Churchill

This year's offerings tackle sex in high places scandal, career crises and the British Establishment

Andy McSmith's Diary: End of a Hungarian era? It's enough to Magyar weep

If you walk along Greek Street in London on Monday night, you will hear a hubbub coming from the Gay Hussar, a Hungarian restaurant. Every table will be filled with people apparently celebrating, though frankly they have not much reason to celebrate. The Gay Hussar in Soho has been famous for years as the watering hole where left-wing politicians gathered to plot, and journalists came to earwig.

Andy McSmith's Diary: At least David Cameron was only torturing the language at PMQs…

The Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski had a struggle making himself heard at Prime Minister’s Questions today because he was the next to be called after David Cameron had accused the shadow Chancellor Ed Balls of “political masosadism”. It was a slip of the tongue that had MPs rocking with laughter. No one present had ever heard the expression “masosadism” before, but apparently it exists, and applies to those who derive pleasure from pain but also occasionally like to dish it out too.

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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas