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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Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk is a member of Kent County Council

Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk

The remarks by Trevor Shonk, a member of Kent County Council, were another embarrassment for the party’s leader Nigel Farage

The Trinity Academy in Brixton After was intended to accommodate 120 pupils, but eventually opened with just 17

Majority of new free schools were not full at launch

One school in Brixton had 17 pupils when it opened, but was big enough to accept 120

Liberal Democrat Norman Baker resigned as Home Office minister in November

Ex-minister Norman Baker leaks details on Home Secretary’s drug stance

Theresa May overruled proposals from her own officials

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

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War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015