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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Tory transport minister Claire Perry has drawn ridicule for 'toasting the success' of the railways when thousands of passengers faced hours of delay in the bitter cold

Minister 'chuffed' with success of Britain's railways, despite delays

There were scenes of chaos at King's Cross on Saturday when trains were cancelled because maintenance work was not finished on time

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

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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?