Perhaps the bigger blow, though, is to the role of the professional politician. Whether you agree with Mr Purnell or not, he is intelligent, articulate, youthful: he adds to public life, and will presumably wish to contribute to it still. What does it say about Parliament, or about the life of an MP, that he would much rather operate from beyond Westminster?
On the resignation of James Purnell
The junk food of political journalism...all reshuffle stories are crap.
Alastair Campbell 1998
I don't want soiled bedclothes.
Hugh Dalton 1951
On ebeing offered the Foreign Office when Bevin retired.
I think the Priem Minister has to be a butcher and know the joints.
R A Butler 1966
Ever since I have been in the House I have been looked on as a might-be. Now I shall be a might-have-been.
Harold Nicolson 1941
Upon being appointed a governor of the BBC and ejected from Churchill's government.
Greater love hath no man than this, that he hay down his friends for his life.
Jeremy Thorpe 07/1962
On Harold Macmillan's Night of the Long Knives reshuffle.
...like putting Dracula in charge of a blood transfusion service.
Eric Varley 20/05/1983
On Norman Tebbit's appointment as Employment Secretary
I got the distinct impression that he felt he was being dismissed by his housemaid.
Margaret Thatcher 1981
On Christopher Soames' sacking from the Cabinet in 1981
I'm making some changes, Geoffrey, and they will involve the Foreign Office.
Margaret Thatcher 24/07/1989
telling Sir Geoffrey Howe of his sacking