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"It will all end in tears. Most of the women will lose their seats at the next election, and the Mother of Parliaments will return, thankfully, to being the best club in London." - Sir Julian Critchley, former Tory MP, on Blair's babes

"Poets don't build swimming pools. I'm going to spend it on the electricity bill and food." - Don Paterson, on winning the pounds 5,000 T S Eliot prize

"I am a well-known elitist. I don't even own a pair of trainers. If I did, I am sure they would be very fragrant." - Lord Gowrie

"The best way to build a stone wall is at dusk and when you are slightly drunk. It really flows." - Giles Downes, the Queen's architect.

"Aromatherapy is like going into the countryside and smelling flowers. It should be available in Parliament. They already have it in some mental hospitals." - Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat MP