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 Diary: Tory tea-tree salesman is a shining example of longevity

David Tredinnick, MP for Bosworth, is not the smartest Conservative there ever was. In the 1990s, he is reported to have lost £750,000 as a Lloyds underwriter, but he is open to ideas about healing the sick. He is the first, I believe, to draw Parliament’s attention to tea tree oil.

Andy McSmith's Sketch: Give way road safety, here comes the racy Godfrey Bloom

With time on his hands, because his public falling out with Nigel Farage has made him an ex-MEP, Godfrey Bloom has taken up cudgels on behalf of motorists who want to drive at speed in built-up areas.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Are Labour’s leaders its worst enemies?

Ed Miliband does not look like a potential prime minister to the public, the former Home Secretary Charles Clarke bluntly let on today. Mr Clarke, who has a book to promote, also thinks that it will be “very difficult” for Labour to win next year’s general election outright.

Andy McSmith's Sketch: Theresa May gives a lesson in six ways not to answer the same question

The serious moment soon passed as MPs reverted to doing what they do best – baiting each other

Andy McSmith's Diary: At least Gordon Brown’s more popular with the press than Jean-Claude Juncker

An appearance by Gordon Brown in the House of Commons press gallery on Monday was an event. Any sighting of the former Prime Minister is an event, because he rarely darkens Parliament’s door these days – so rarely that he opened with a joke about needing a guided tour of the building.

PM threatens snap Ofsted inspections over ‘Trojan Horse’ affair

State school teachers face the prospect of Ofsted coming in without warning to inspect their schools, in the wake of the so-called “Trojan Horse” affair.

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

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Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
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Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
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A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
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If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
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New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
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Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on