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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Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show

Question Time format shed more light on the trio than a three-way debate

Nigel Farage has claimed the BBC is anti-Ukip because “it received €30m in funding in the past seven years.”

Andy McSmith's Election Diary: Ukip's cash cow keeps on giving

I can understand Ukip demanding a police investigation after a contestant on Have I Got News For You claimed to have visited South Thanet more often than Nigel Farage. It’s been a long campaign, Ukip’s vote is ebbing away; it’s time for a sense of humour breakdown.

Russell Brand interviews Labour leader Ed Miliband for his internet programme ‘The Trews’

General Election 2015: 'Miliband: the Interview' should have been titled 'Russell Brand: the Monologue'

Miliband could hardly get a word in as Brand ranted about 'powerful elites' and bankers

Nigel Farage and Jean Claude Juncker share a joke at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Wednesday

Andy McSmith's Election Diary: Nigel Farage's unwanted support from Jean Claude Juncker

Nigel Farage has received unexpected support in his campaign to become MP for South Thanet, from the President of the European Commission – not normally a fan of UKIP.  Election or no election, Farage is still a member of the European Parliament, and he put in a day there yesterday, fighting losing battles over migration and asylum. “As I walked into European Parliament just now,” he tweeted early in the day, “Jean Claude Juncker wished me good luck for South Thanet as it means I won't be here anymore!”

Andy McSmith's Sketch: Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband went so well he might even vote

There was a running joke on social media at Russell Brand’s expense, which went like this: you take a portentous Russell Brand quotation, and after it you cry: “Parklife!” In the one-minute trailer for the interview that Brand did with Ed Miliband, you hear him ask: “For me, what I have learnt is that because of geopolitical influences, because of global finance, it seems that it’s very difficult at a domestic level to leverage serious influence.”

Andy McSmith's Election Diary: Nicola Sturgeon's inspiration brought to book

Scrutiny of Nicola Sturgeon has thrown up an interesting coincidence. Her favourite novel was Sunset Song, part of a trilogy by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, a Scottish writer who died young in 1935. Sturgeon read it when it was in her teens.  “It seemed to speak to me at a time when other things were taking shape in my head,” she told The Scotsman. In her mind, it fortified the case for Scottish independence.

The TV debates have propelled Natalie Bennett into the public eye as never before

General Election 2015: Cameron defends criticism that Tories still neck and neck with Labour in polls

Speaking in Yeovil, the Prime Minister said: 'If you want political excitement, go to Greece'

Boris Johnson, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and Andrew Marr appearing on BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show

Ed Miliband vs Boris Johnson on the Andrew Marr Show sketch: Roll up, roll up – it's the Ed and Boris verbal jousting show

London’s Mayor is by general acclaim the wittiest performer in modern politics - Miliband is the one who cannot eat a bacon sandwich

Andy McSmith's Election Diary: How the Tower Hamlets corruption scandal goes far beyond just Lutfur Rahman

Lutfur Rahman was not the only one to come out badly from Judge Richard Mawrey’s report into intimidation and corruption in Tower Hamlets. There was a section on how Labour’s National Executive Committee dealt with “an astonishing catalogue of very serious allegations” handed to them in September 2010 by Helal Abbas, who had come a poor third, behind Rahman and John Biggs, in the contest to be selected as Labour’s mayoral candidate.

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