Some of the most amusing comments in the House have come from the formidable Baroness Trumpington (second from the right in the photograph). Over the years – she was elevated to the peerage in 1980 – she has come out with a number of notable one-liners.
A few years ago, there was a question on the condition of a female chimpanzee that had been rescued from ill-treatment. The minister reported that the chimpanzee was now being well cared for and was housed with a group of chimpanzees. He added, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that she was getting on rather well with the male leader of the group. Before anyone else could put a supplementary question, Baroness Trumpington shot to her feet to declare: ‘My Lords, she’s better off than I am’.
More recently, there was a question on portable antiquities. After the minister had answered, there were several informed supplementaries, including one from Lady Trumpington. She concluded with the words: ‘My Lords, I declare an interest as a portable antiquity myself’.