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.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Is that George Osborne I hear? Or Barry White?

Something seems to have happened to George Osborne’s voice. He did not sound like the Chancellor we have come to know and love during a live appearance on the Today programme. The squeak was not there. Perhaps it was a trick of the acoustics, maybe he has a cold, or maybe, just maybe, he has been practising to lower his pitch and sound more authoritative. Today, answering questions in the Commons, he sounded more like his usual self, but that could be only a temporary reversion.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Who said politics was all about the money? White Dee

White Dee, heroine of the Channel 4 documentary series Benefits Street, has been advised by her agent to shun politics. If the bookies are correct, she has a better chance than any other challenger of unseating the incumbent Labour MP Shabana Mahmood in Birmingham Ladywood where she lives, but her manager, Barry Tomes, thinks she should forget it. He has advised his client, whose real name is Deirdre Kelly, that she can make more money by being a media personality. She is thought to have been paid £100,000 for appearing on Celebrity Big Brother.

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 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.

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.

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.

Andy McSmith's Diary: The enemy within Chequers at Sam Cam's delayed 40th

There were many strange things about the party that David and Samantha Cameron threw at Chequers last week.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Leaked – the site of Ed Balls' tête-à-tête with Nick Clegg

Ed Balls ruffled a few feathers in the Labour Party 11 months ago, when he disclosed that he had had a talk with Nick Clegg, seemingly about the possibility of Labour going into coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

Andy McSmith's Diary: End of a Hungarian era? It's enough to Magyar weep

If you walk along Greek Street in London on Monday night, you will hear a hubbub coming from the Gay Hussar, a Hungarian restaurant. Every table will be filled with people apparently celebrating, though frankly they have not much reason to celebrate. The Gay Hussar in Soho has been famous for years as the watering hole where left-wing politicians gathered to plot, and journalists came to earwig.

i Newspaper
The Independent around the web
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

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
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness