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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Chris McAleese at Bannockburn Polling Station, as voters go to the polls in the Scottish Referendum

Scottish independence: How the battle for Scotland’s future was won – and lost

It all seemed a foregone conclusion until a remarkable poll showed the Yes vote was ahead. Then the referendum campaign kicked off – noisily, sometimes violently, but somehow also gloriously

Andy McSmith's Diary: All-women shortlists now; Cameron advisers next?

A shortlist of four women has been drawn up by the Conservative association in South Cambridgeshire

Andy McSmith's Diary: When ‘stalking’ isn’t really what you would call stalking

'This guy has no sexual inclination towards me. He just wants to destroy me' says Nadine Dorries

Andy McSmith's Diary: There’s some corner of a foreign field that is forever Thatcher

In the week when the UK’s continued existence is in question, some right-wing politicians in Madrid have ceremonially named a square Plaza de Margaret Thatcher, in honour of the Prime Minister who gave Scotland the poll tax.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Bercow’s trying to save a building, not build power

The  Speaker’s defeat has given heart to the Tories that want to oust him

Andy McSmith's Diary: Will we get to see Rupert Murdoch in his budgie smugglers?

Rupert Murdoch caused a flurry on Twitter on Wednesday by hinting that the semi-pornographic pictures that have given Page 3 of The Sun its fame might be dropped because they are “old-fashioned”.

Andy McSmith's Diary: How can this disgusting man Robert Bleakley still be a councillor?

He ran up a £2,400 bill on sex-chat lines on a council mobile phone

Andy McSmith's Diary: Nick Clegg’s mini-manifesto is bumped off the agenda again - thanks to the royal baby news

The announcement was also badly timed for Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC.

'Bedroom tax' to be abolished as Coalition is rocked by Lib Dem-Labour alliance

Commons rebellion means controversial policy is almost certainly doomed

Andy McSmith's Diary: No limit to the temerity of the EU - even our faulty kettles are at risk

A threat to the British way of life filled the front page of today’s Daily Express. “Now kettles face EU ban – Brussels meddlers in another assault on our way of life,” the headline declared.

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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas