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: Ramsay or Nando's? The PM can't have both

Gordon Ramsay has had a bad week. In addition to losing a court battle over a rent agreement, which will set him back more than £2m, he has suffered the insult of having David Cameron say he would rather eat at Nando’s than in an establishment run by the celebrity chef.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Tipsters always fall short of running naked down Whitehall

The pundit and publisher Iain Dale has finally come up with a lame excuse for not keeping the most famous promise he ever made. On election night in 2010, Dale poured scorn on a BBC exit poll that predicted the Liberal Democrats would win as few as 59 seats. If that proved true, Dale promised, he would “run naked down Whitehall”. Actually, the poll overestimated rather than underestimated Nick Clegg’s appeal. They won 57 seats.

Andy McSmith's Diary: 'An unelectable egotist': who could you mean, Jeremy?

And what on earth makes Paxman think someone like Churchill could not be elected now?

Tony Blair’s earnings would be made public if a Tory backbench motion is passed

Conservative MPs campaign to force Tony Blair to declare his paymasters

Tony Blair’s earnings would be made public if a Tory backbench motion is passed

Nick Clegg: Prime Minister's Questions is 'an absolute farce'

Deputy Prime Minister says PMQs is 'ridiculous' and 'should be scrapped'

Nick Clegg has said that introducing TV debates is “very difficult to reverse”

Nick Clegg: Leaders' TV debates will go ahead despite David Cameron's objections

Deputy PM says Tories are 'are swivelling around a lot' over the contests

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg rules out ever joining Nigel Farage in coalition government with Ukip

The Deputy Prime Minister's answer was simply 'no'

Andy McSmith's Diary: An anonymous Tory candidate may have discovered where the Nasty Party went

It is no fun being a Conservative in a seat held safely by another party, to judge from a diary posted on the ConservativeHome website by an unnamed writer who gave up a good job to be an unpaid parliamentary candidate.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Some parties do have 'em... the travails of Ukip hopefuls

After all the trouble Ukip has had selecting a candidate in Basildon South it has good reason to be pleased with its eventual choice of Ian Luder, a former Lord Mayor of London.

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.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own