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Strange People I Have Known

UK Publisher: Biteback

Westminster and Whitehall are secret worlds, hidden to most. But working as a lobby journalist, former Labour Party staffer Andy McSmith has had exclusive access to our top politicians for decades. Here, he shares his personal encounters with the great and the good of the British political landscape, revealing what they are really like behind the scenes.

With witty and perceptive flair, he describes encounters such as flying to Tokyo with Margaret Thatcher, the last Prime Minister who would walk fearlessly into a room full of journalists, unprotected by special advisers; dining with Sir Edward Heath, a man who knew how to hold a grudge, in his home in Salisbury; observing Gordon Brown and Tony Blair as new MPs, sharing a cramped office in Parliament and collaborating like brothers; and working with Boris Johnson back when he had an ambition to be something more than just a journalist.

Filled with vivid portraits of those at the heart of British politics over the past forty years, Strange People I Have Known is a memoir of a life well lived and an insider’s account of the inner workings of government.

Andy McSmith was for many years Senior Writer for the Independent newspaper, having previously been a political correspondent on the same...