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.

Andy McSmith's Diary: The candidate Douglas Carswell shoved aside still feels sore

It is hard to judge who is angriest with Douglas Carswell just now – old allies on the Tory Eurosceptic right who feel personally betrayed by his defection to Ukip, or Peter Lord, who until last week thought he was to be Ukip’s candidate in Clacton.

Andy McSmith's Diary: If any other MP had suffered the same fate as George Galloway...

George Galloway has given his first interview since the fracas on a Notting Hill street which left him badly bruised and in need of hospital treatment, and has complained about the muted reaction from other politicians to his misfortunes.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Ukip now has a ‘front bench’ – just don’t try to sit on it

Did you know that Ukip has something called a “front bench”? Well, it has – and over the past two days, Nigel Farage has been conducting what his people grandly call a “reshuffle” to overcome the idea he runs the whole show single-handedly, and to give the party a more modern finish.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Ruffled ermine as David Cameron pays for overlooking the Lords in last week's reshuffle

David Cameron has had to soothe the ruffled ermine of outraged peers by promising a seat in his Cabinet for their leader, Baroness Stowell, if the Conservatives win the general election.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Try as you might, you can’t keep Goodman down

Helen Goodman, Labour’s shadow media minister, is in trouble again. Last time, it was for not knowing where she was; this time, it was for putting out a sweeping insult of all the women Tory MPs promoted by David Cameron in his latest reshuffle.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Scowling Speaker John Bercow and the Anglo-Saxon epithet

One of the saving graces of the House of Commons used to be that while MPs might behave badly towards each other, they at least had respect for the office of the Speaker. That took a dive during Michael Martin’s mishandling of the MPs’ expenses crisis, and hit a new low today when John Bercow was openly accused of driving a popular parliamentary officer into early retirement.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Jonathan Hill for Brussels. But which Jonathan Hill?

Lord Hill is best known as the minister who once went into the Prime Minister’s office intending to resign, but spoke so softly that David Cameron did not hear, and so he kept him on. So whether he meant to accept the post of European Commissioner can only be guessed: perhaps he turned it down, sotto voce, and the Prime Minister thought he was saying yes.

Andy McSmith's Diary: A tale of two MPs – and how honest doubt trumped tub-thumping

If Boris Johnson wants a Commons seat not far from his London home, the ideal berth is now available. John Randall, the bird-loving MP for Uxbridge, owner of the finest beard on the Tory benches, has announced that he is quitting Parliament at the next election.

Mr Hamilton said: ‘I apologise unreservedly to Allan Rogers. It was an inadvertent slip of the tongue.’

Andy McSmith's Diary: Ukip's Neil Hamilton left embarrassed after he claimed that a former MP visited bondage clubs on BBC Newsnight

The party's deputy chairman has since apologised 'unreservedly' to Allan Rogers

Andy McSmith's Diary: Was Harriet Harman discriminated against for being useless?

Damian McBride, the former Labour spin doctor sometimes referred to as McPoison, was thought to have gained an inner calm while working for the Catholic charity Cafod, a job he recently left ahead of the appearance of a paperback version of his annoyingly readable memoirs. Today, though, he blew a fuse. What set him off was the news that Labour’s deputy leader, Harriet Harman, was implicitly accusing McBride’s old boss, Gordon Brown, of sexism.

Andy McSmith's Diary: What’s in a name? Well, only about 4,400 miles...

You have to feel some sympathy for Chuka Umunna. Normally so calm and so sharp, he is being talked up as one of the Labour shadow cabinet’s star performers – and then he goes and mangles a word one day, and everyone is laughing at him.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Top-table Guido fails to practise what he preached

How strange to see the name of Paul Staines, otherwise known as the blogger Guido Fawkes, on the guest list among the billionaires, oligarchs and Cabinet ministers at the Tories’ fund raising summer party, obtained by the Bureau for Investigative Journalism. The Leveson Inquiry was warned against such fraternisation during one its hearings, three years ago. “Senior politicians, editors and proprietors mix freely, all too easily,” their witness said.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Tory’s think-tank attack is not such a bright idea

Ann Leslie, the 73-year-old former Daily Mail columnist, reminds me that six years ago she revealed in her memoirs how she was once ambushed in a bedroom by the film star David Niven. After writing that, she received a reader’s letter – unpublishable until now – from a woman who had suffered a similar experience at the hands of Rolf Harris.

Ben Duncan is a Green councillor in Brighton

Andy McSmith's Diary: Brighton Green Ben Duncan apologises for 'hired killers' tweet on Armed Forces Day

Ben Duncan, a Green councillor in Brighton, has apologised, two days after the event, for tweeting “Armed Forces Day has certainly brought the hired killers onto the streets of Brighton today. Hard to explain to my son!”

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