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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Nick Clegg’s attempt to reassert his position with a major speech threatens to be undermined by a call from a senior Liberal Democrat for him to be sacked

Nick Clegg is ‘dead in the water’ and should be sacked, says senior Lib Dem peer Lord Smith

Lib Dem leader will use speech to make it plain he intends to carry on

Someone at the Cabinet Office decided the way to ram home the point was to tell the Scots what £1,400 can buy, with illustrations featuring pieces of Lego

Scottish independence: Government uses Lego to build a case for a No vote

Cabinet Office publishes series of 'awful' pictures showing Scots what the so-called UK dividend of £1,400 can buy

Andy McSmith's Diary: If Bootle’s not good enough for Euan Blair...

The eyes of ambitious Labour wannabes are focusing on Bootle, on Merseyside, where the long-serving MP, Joe Benton, has hit a spot of bother with his local party. He is over 80 years old. Incredibly, that would make him only the fourth oldest Labour MP in the post 2015 Parliament, but in Bootle they think that it is old enough, and have decided to hold a contest to select their next candidate.

Liberal Democrats: Nick Clegg and Vince Cable exclude press from pub photo-op

PR foul-up was meant to be a show of unity between the pair

Businessman Paul Sykes

Paul Sykes: The financier behind Nigel Farage

Ukip’s biggest backer has lavished millions on the party - driven by a visceral hatred of the European Union

David Cameron visits a shale drilling site in Lincolnshire in January

Good day to bury bad news: Survey reveals South Downs is ripe for fracking and Government report puts major construction projects on 'red alert'

Billions of barrels of oil discovered beneath Tory heartlands as doubts are raised over HS2 and Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier's future

Crossed wired: Ukip’s reference to the sacrifice made by British soldiers in the Great War has backfired

European Parliament Election 2014: How not to run a political campaign

Ukip's latest error of judgement is the most recent in a long line of political strategies gone wrong
Conscripts, among the first men ever to be compelled to join the British Army, undergo a medical

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Britain introduces conscription when the appeal to patriotic sentiment was no longer enough

As frontline losses grew, it became clear that only forced recruitment would keep the war effort going

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice