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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Labour MP Dennis Skinner tells Andy McSmith about his fight to keep the place he has occupied in Parliament for 45 years

Dennis Skinner: How the Beast of Bolsover won battle of Commons benches with invading Scottish Nationalists

It all began when 56 SNP MPs arrived in Westminster intent on making the point that they are now the third biggest party in the Commons

Andy McSmith's Diary: Ben Harris-Quinney - a voice the Tories would rather not hear

Ben Harris-Quinney, a voice of the young, hard right of the Conservatives, has been recorded in Russia sounding off about gay people. He is heard accusing what he calls the “LGBT lobby” of wanting children as young as seven to be given sex lessons that include the “promotion of a homosexual lifestyle”.

Sepp Blatter

Andy McSmith's Diary: In a league of his own - Sepp Blatter scores an early own goal

Something stirs in the memory from a grim day in April 1989 when MPs debated the Hillsborough disaster. It was not one of Parliament’s finest shows. There was too much blaming the victims of that appalling event, but at least the former Sports Minister Denis Howell, spoke up in defence of the Liverpool fans, deploring the way certain officials of Fifa had jumped in to condemn them, including one who asked: “Will the fans never learn?” Who was this numbskull? Howell named him. It was Sepp Blatter.

CCTV cameras in towns and cities across the country are being switched off by councils who cannot afford to keep them running

Andy McSmith's Diary: CCTV violates human rights? Well, so does being mugged

I cannot understand why civil rights organisations object to CCTV in public places. Nothing in Magna Carta nor the European Convention on Human Rights says you have the right to be invisible walking down the street. When my teenage son was robbed and beaten up, we thought the four culprits would be caught when we learnt that they had been seen hanging around underneath a CCTV camera just before the attack – except, unfortunately, Big Brother was not watching: the useless thing was switched off.

Andy McSmith's Diary: All becomes clear in the library of Osama bin Laden

One of bin Laden's books in particular offers an interesting insight into what Jihadis think of Britain's political landscape

Andy McSmith's Diary: 'Flashy' new Culture Secretary John Whittingdale breaks his radio silence

John Whittingdale has ventured out of the office in his new guise as Culture Secretary for the first time, showing up at the British Library, which has just received £9.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund to preserve the nation’s sounds. There he listened to a fragile lacquer disc recording of a speech Noel Coward gave in 1947 on the first night of his play Peace in Our Time.

Ferocious: Margaret Hodge, chair of the PAC

Andy McSmith's Diary: Hard-hitting Margaret Hodge will be a tough act to follow

The chair of the Public Accounts Committee has decided to quit

Speaker John Bercow and his wife Sally in 2011. The couple have faced speculation of an impending divorce announcement

John Bercow confirmed as Speaker of the House of Commons despite unpopularity with Tories

Re-electing the Speaker will be the only agenda item when Parliament reassembles for the first time since the general election

Nigel Farage has come under renewed pressure to take a break from the leadership of Ukip, with the party still looking in danger of tearing itself apart after a disappointing general election

Nigel Farage under renewed pressure to take break from Ukip leadership

The public discussion about whether he needs a holiday is partly driven by concern over the impending referendum on Britain’s EU membership

Andy Burnham described himself as ‘the unifying candidate’ on ‘The Andrew Marr Show’

Unite union could sever link with Labour amid war of words over new leader, says Len McCluskey

The leader of the Unite union claimed that Labour’s heavy defeat in the general election was 'a great opportunity for a complete rethink'

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