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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European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker gestures during a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday

Jean-Claude Juncker warns David Cameron he will react strongly to ‘unjustified’ criticisms

"I am a not a man who trembles before prime ministers"

Tony Blair has offered to answer queries in writing

Andy McSmith's Diary: Blair summons up an excuse to avoid Commons appearance

Seven years and four months after Tony Blair departed from the House of Commons, a committee of MPs wants him to put in a re-appearance – but so far, without success. The possibility remains that the former Prime Minister might be ordered to attend.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Nuclear option that made fracking look like 'a walk in the park'

The aftermath of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war – and the consequent hike in world oil prices – was almost all bad, but at least it appears to have closed off a weird idea being touted by UK government scientists to set off nuclear explosions under the sea.

Deirdre Kelly, known as 'White Dee', has given Old Etonian Tory MP Kwasi Kwarteng a piece of her mind, for allegedly saying that she was “too common” for the House of Commons

Andy McSmith's Diary: White Dee: I’m not too common for the Commons

White Dee, who rose to fame through the Channel 4 series Benefits Street, has given Old Etonian Tory MP Kwasi Kwarteng a piece of her mind, for allegedly saying that she was “too common” for the House of Commons. She is so cross she may even run against him in Spelthorne next year.

Andrew Green: The founder of the controversial MigrationWatch group

Andrew Green: A divisive peer for a divided time

The ennoblement of the founder of the controversial MigrationWatch group has been widely condemned

Andy McSmith's Diary: The face of anti-political correctness gone mad

The Tory MP Philip Davies has made the news twice this week, once for his confrontation with Jon Snow in the offices of Channel 4, after which he accused the veteran broadcaster of bullying him, and once when he suggested that sex education in schools is causing an increase in teenage pregnancies. On that subject, he challenged others to look at the evidence, something he had notably failed to do. The Office for National Statistics says that teenage pregnancies are at their lowest level since 1969.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Exterminating Travellers – not a laughing matter

The best that can be said of Alan Mellins, a Conservative councillor from Maidenhead, is that his behaviour was ignorant. Maidenhead includes a site where Travellers settled five years ago without planning permission, and on Monday a council panel was asked for any suggestion about how to speed up the process of evicting them. “Execute them,” Mellins suggested.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Tories’ Russian roulette with canvassed donations

A Russian tycoon who is presumed to have paid £28,000 for a portrait of Margaret Thatcher in a fund-raising auction will get his money back – not because there is anything wrong with the portrait, or because he does not want it, but because the Conservative Party should not have let him buy it.

Jose Manuel Barroso said the UK does not have a 'huge problem' with immigration

Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms

Outgoing European Commission president says 'arbitrary cap' on the numbers of EU migrants to the UK would breach the 'fundamental principle' of the free movement of labour

Ched Evans: Footballer players’ union advising forward on 'how to rebuild a semblance of a career'

'He should be given the opportunity to reintegrate himself into society,' says former PFA chair Clarke Carlisle, 'But that comes with several provisos'

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee