The BBC today have an article hailing the arrival of the European Research Council, the new EU-wide funding body for fundamental research.
Later on in the article, it notes the contribution by Lord Sainsbury, then the British Science Minister, who changed policy midflight on the way to a meeting having read the critical views of civil servants and decided to support the agency instead.
Sainsbury was described by Nature as being "simply good at his job". Unfortunately, he quit for reasons of politics, not for science. It's a shame the post tends to go to the best politician, rather than the best person to be Minister for Science.