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There is more likelihood of Ian Paisley being the next Pope than of me agreeing to a fix or a stitch-up.

Labour MP Rhodri Morgan, insisting that he will not back down from his fight to be leader of the new Welsh Assembly.

Jurisprudence has been the perfect preparation for Tony Blair's career. It is well known to be a useless subject, full of high-sounding nothings, like his Third Way.

Historian Dr David Starkey

If Nick Brown had confessed to being a Sunderland supporter, that would really have been it.

Billy Anderson, 49, a member of the Newcastle Labour Club, on the 'outed' Agriculture Minister.

Large amounts of money tend to stick to the fingers of all the politicos who handle it.

Robert Whelan, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, on writing off debts of corrupt countries hit by natural disasters.

It is only if the British people were to feel complete despair, utter self-loathing, a total loss of self-respect that they might start identifying with the Conservative Party again.

Trade and Industry Secretary, Peter Mandelson

I have always learned from orchestras. From the English, professionalism, from the Germans, tradition, from the Italians, impatience and from the Russians, eruptions.

Kurt Masur, new chief conductor of the London Philharmonic.

I'm rather pissed off. My immediate response was to go out and score a load of cocaine in rebellion.

Emma Thompson on being mooted for a post as official role model for teenage girls in Baroness Jay's Women's unit.

There is a strong egalitarian sort of thing about my philosophy

Rupert Murdoch

I can't believe Alun Michael is the Secretary of State for Wales. It's a triumph for mediocrity. I should know - he lives five doors from me.

Marc Cranfield-Adams, on why he has rejoined the Tories after defecting in 1995 to form the Penarth Independent Party.