Labour's deputy leader, Harriet Harman, has poured scorn on rumours that she hopes to succeed Gordon Brown in Number 10, in the event of his appointment as Global Financial Regulator.
"Let's get a few things straight, shall we?" she told reporters. "First of all: Gordon being trusted with regulating the money markets of the world is about as likely as Robert Mugabe being given the top job at the World Health Organisation, or Frank Spencer chairing the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Second: I'm determined to support Gordon as the prime minister of this country, as he takes the country through what are very difficult economic times - right up to the moment when he does the decent thing and throws himself off Beachy Head clutching a live grenade, the morning after he's handed the country to David Cameron on a plate with a gilt-edged compliments slip."
Meanwhile, communities secretary Hazel Blears warned her cabinet colleagues to "get a grip" and put a stop to media speculation over who might succeed the Prime Minister.
"We all agree that Gordon is doing a splendid job as a flak-magnet," she said. "Abuse and ridicule are attracted to him like flies to shit. As long as we keep our heads down and don't do anything to remind people that we're members of the Cabinet, any of us who are lucky enough to survive the inevitable election cull of the Parliamentary Labour Party will be well placed to dump the sole blame for everything on that useless slab-faced psychopathic control freak. From now until the general election, we should all be concentrating our efforts on buttering up our smelly constituents and pretending that we have only their best interests at heart."
She then climbed a conveniently-placed tree and rescued a cute, fluffy kitten which had been placed there earlier by a spin doctor.