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: Why the latest Tory HQ blunder is way off target

Somebody at Conservative HQ blundered in style by giving out too much information when they uploaded the photographs of hundreds of wannabe Tory MPs. The captions under 112 of the pictures categorised the seats they are fighting as ‘non-targets’ – meaning that the Tories plan to put minimal effort into winning them.

The debate on a piece of proposed legislation was dogged by the inability of the noble lords and ladies to agree on which “the” they were supposed to be removing

Andy McSmith's Diary: An hour debating the use of 'the' – no wonder our noble Lords nod off

Gordon Brown had the worst record for showing up at PMQs

Robert Buckland, the Solicitor General and MP ffor Swindon South, was an investor in a film partnership under investigation by HMRC

Robert Buckland: Tory law officer has money in film partnership that is being investigated by HMRC

Their defenders claim that the film partnerships help finance the British film industry, but HMRC have queried whether they are all genuinely trading

Social media users who persistently spread racial hatred online could be given 'internet Asbos' blocking them from sites such as Twitter and Facebook under proposals to tackle rising levels of anti-Semitism

Hit racial hatred trolls with 'internet asbos' and treat them like sex offenders, MPs say

The MPs warn that racist abuse and violence directed at Jewish people in the UK is twice as common now as in the 1990s

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said all four countries in the UK would have to agree to a EU pull-out

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should be allowed to veto a UK exit of the EU, says Plaid Cymru leader

The plan will infuriate right-wing Tories, because there are almost 40 million people in England who would be entitled to vote in a referendum

Culture Minister Sajid Javid

Andy McSmith's Diary: Culture Secretary rides to defence of posh entertainers like Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch and James Blunt

Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, James Blunt and all the entertainers who went to expensive schools have a friend in the Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid.

Letter from the Political Correspondent: Though often hard to believe, our politicians do do more than conduct slanging matches in the House of Commons

There is so much more to politics  than the unseemly shouting match  into which Prime Minister’s Questions often descends. Unfortunately, that is the aspect of parliamentary life that the public sees most often. It conveys the impression that there is no point in entering the alien world of Parliament unless you are armed with exaggerated self-confidence that a private education and early training in university debating societies can give you.

The Tory backbencher faces repaying more than £1,000 in wrongly-claimed mileage expenses

Tory MP Bob Blackman’s 700 dodgy mileage claims

A Conservative MP submitted a mileage claim for a 54-mile round trip by car between his west London constituency and Tottenham Hotspur training ground when the actual distance measured on Google Maps was 33 miles.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Gordon Brown and George Galloway earn more than Tory barristers

Stephen Phillips has been described as Britain’s highest-paid politician – but he is not, not any more.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Old political souls never die in the corridors of power

Anyone who does not believe in life after death should come to Parliament after the general election and see the newly ex-MPs wandering the corridors like lost souls on the banks of the Styx. Those who have not landed seats in the House of Lords are allowed to hold on to their old Commons passes and haunt the place forever.

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