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: The price of justice? £277,600, to the tax payer

One of the most shocking murders to take place on British soil in recent years was the shooting of PC Ian Broadhurst on a street in Leeds on Boxing Day 2003 – not least because of a heart-rending recording in which the badly wounded officer was heard pleading: “No don’t, don’t, please, please no,” before receiving the final bullet in his head.

Andy McSmith's Diary: House not in order

One of the country’s longest serving council leaders, Keith House, a Lib Dem who has led Eastleigh council since 1994, has been through some upheaval in his private life.

The tickets Michael Gove accepted had a combined value of £1,250

Jingle bells: When classic-loving Michael Gove embraced popular culture

Register shows former Education Secretary accepted £1,250 tickets to Capital FM’s pre-Christmas ball

Birmingham is a 'totally Muslim' place where 'non-Muslims just simply don’t go', a self-proclaimed terrorism expert told the US Fox News channel, sparking a tidal wave of mockery

Not the first time: Chastened Fox News pundit Steven Emerson has been wrong before

Who is the expert who called Birmingham 'totally Muslim'?

Andy McSmith's Diary: As Paris panics, MPs have a bad hair day

While the world’s eyes were focused on the horror in Paris on Wednesday evening, MPs were engaged in a widely unreported debate on whether it is the Government’s job to protect you from a bad hair-do.

Andy McSmith's Diary: With MPs threatening to get heavy, Tony Blair comes quietly

It has been a long time since Parliament has heard from Tony Blair but he has now, reluctantly, agreed to revisit the building.

Andy McSmith's Diary: MP named and shamed because of Coalition U-turn

It was no surprise today that Mark Pritchard should call for men accused of rape to be protected by anonymity. His fellow Tory MP Nigel Evans made the same call – that the law protects the anonymity of the accuser but not the accused – after his highly publicised trial for rape which ended in the Deputy Speaker’s acquittal.

The BBC presenter and comic, Graham Norton, lives close to George Galloway’s old constituency of Bow and Poplar

Andy McSmith's Diary: Pity the pauper George Galloway locking horns with Graham Norton

The BBC presenter and comic who once confessed to being a former drug user, lives close to Galloway’s old constituency

Moura Budberg returned to the Soviet Union seven times between 1959 and her death, aged 82, in 1974

Was Nick Clegg's great aunt a Soviet agent?

The colourful love life and suspected treachery of a Russian countess exiled in London after the Bolshevik revolution kept the security services occupied for years. But what was the truth about Moura Budberg?

Scotland's former First Minister Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond: My Part in His Downfall by Alan Cochrane, book review: Crude, cruel and fun

Cochrane's diaries are a lively, amusing read

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Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing