What ministers are saying about fallout from interview debacle
I have spoken to backbenchers since last Tuesday and, yes, obviously there are people who are worried about what happened on Tuesday. But equally there is a clear understanding among the people I have spoken with that our situation as a country is too vital and too serious for us to be diverted by, in effect, a party row at this stage."
"If we as politicians and as human beings are not allowed to live in this country with the freedom that every person else has it's a very sad day.
"We are going to be asked what time we went to bed, what time did we get up, what did we eat, where did we go, who did we talk to? Then I think we are taking politics too far."
"You are straying into another area that hasn't happened. We don't know what the situation is. I've said we're leaving the situation behind now having listened to the man apologise."
"In terms of the various issues that surfaced, I think we all have to reflect in terms of how the conference was organised, in terms of communications issues and so on like that. Clearly we have lessons to learn and we will work on that particular agenda in terms of future events and future communications strategies."
"When I was listening to it live, I said to myself 'what are you doing this for?'
But it's very easy in hindsight. It's easy for any of us to say I shouldn't have done that.
"I heard it and I thought . . . oooh . . . it sounded awful. I knew it sounded awful. Not what he was saying but how he was saying it."
"I don't think it's a crisis. I think it's an unwelcome incident as far as he is concerned. He has apologised for it and come out very strongly today saying he knows he needs to adapt his style a bit to the office he has and the demands of the office. People's expectations of the public representatives are very high and they are right.
"I think the onus is on us to make sure that we meet those high standards as far as possible. But then people in glass houses shouldn't be throwing stones."
"I do have confidence that Brian Cowen can lead us through that sort of work.