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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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.

Michael Cockerell's BBC documentary, 'Inside The Commons' is a four-part series given unprecedented access to the House of Commons (PA)

Andy McSmith's Diary: Cockerell's crowing ruffles feathers in Parliament

Parliament’s senior staff are not altogether pleased with Michael Cockerell, the journalist whose four-part television series on how the place works begins tonight.

Charlotte Leslie MP in the BBC series ‘Inside The Commons’

'Berserker' right-wing Tory MPs tried to sabotage BBC documentary

Tory MP Bill Wiggin is seen demanding that the Speaker order one of the cameramen to move

Andy McSmith's Diary: David Cameron's a man of principle - if you can dig deep enough

David Cameron has said he will “rule nothing out” – meaning that he just might call for a No vote in a referendum on EU membership if his negotiations in Brussels come to nothing.

Andy McSmith's Diary: The Tories' missing reports on 'weaponising' mass distraction

David Cameron is right on one point: no one seriously doubts that Ed Miliband dropped a comment in the hearing of BBC executives about “weaponising” the NHS. The PM says it was a “disgusting” thing to say.

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Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?