Lord Sainsbury, the Science Minister, is renowned for his ability to say very little when questioned on issues of scientific policy.
But that approach may be harder to pull off now that the Conservative Party has appointed a front bencher to rival him directly.
Robert Key, Tory MP for Salisbury and one of the more ebullient members of the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee, has been appointed Shadow Science Minister. Mr Key told The Times Higher that, as a former teacher and an economist, he intended to tackle issues of academic resourcing head on.
And as for facing up to his rival? "I shopped at Sainsbury's Nine Elms for years, so I'm very familiar with the product line I can expect," he said.