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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Andrew Mitchell outside the High Court in London after losing his libel action against ‘The Sun’

Andrew Mitchell 'Plebgate' trial: The great British libel casino claims a fresh victim

Andrew Mitchell is not the first public figure to face ruin after seeking vindication – and damages – in court

Andy McSmith's Diary: After 80 years adrift, a memorial finally lands for doomed airship

HM Airship R101, the technological wonder of its day, set off from Cardington in Bedfordshire, on 4 October 1930, bound for Karachi on its first international flight, with Lord Thomson, Ramsay MacDonald’s Secretary of State for Air and other eminent passengers on board. Crowds watched it sail gracefully over London, but over northern France, it went into a fatal nose dive. Of the 54 passengers and crew, 46 were killed outright, and two died from their injuries.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Hairless David Cameron’s hoary tribute to hirsute colleagues

Is there something wrong with David Cameron’s face that makes him unable to grow a moustache? It is a question that sprouts on the lips of journalists each November, because this is the month when men make themselves look hideous in a good cause: raising awareness of testicular cancer.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Norman Baker and the strange case of passing the buck with the joint

Norman Baker has been making use of the freedom of Parliament’s backbenches since he resigned his old job as a Home Office minister. Today, the Lib Dem MP took advantage of health questions in the Commons to put the case for legalising the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

It's questionable whether the Home Office is focusing enough of its resources on immigration, the issue which has been Ukip’s biggest selling point

Andy McSmith's Diary: The Tories are braced to fight Ukip – by saying the same thing

A question worth asking is whether the Home Office is focusing enough of its resources on immigration, the issue which has been Ukip’s biggest selling point

Farage in Rochester last night
David Cameron has been snubbed by Bermuda - most important of the UK’s oversea territories

Bermuda refuses David Cameron’s request to lift ‘cloak of secrecy’

Bermuda boasts of being ‘the risk capital of  the world’

Andy McSmith's Diary: Labour’s image problem reaches Rochester

Labour’s last day of campaigning in the Rochester by-election would have gone better if Emily Thornberry, MP for Islington South, had not turned to help. Out on the stomp, she was so taken by a house decked in three St George flags, with a white van parked outside, that she took a picture and posted it on Twitter, with the caption “Image from Rochester.”

American-born Boris Johnson railed against the US’s doctrine of ‘global taxation’

American-born Boris Johnson refuses to pay hefty US tax bill

‘They’re trying to hit me with some bill, can you believe it?’ he tells US radio station

Andy McSmith's Diary: Sir Bob Geldof’s strange claim to common cause with plebs

“I came from a poor Irish, not particularly well educated background… I am in fact ‘a pleb’,” Bob Geldof said in evidence in the Old Bailey libel trial on behalf of his friend, former Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell.

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Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell