Michael Portillo was an MP who many loved to hate, especially at the time of the 1997 General Election. He has now reinvented himself as a TV presenter and currently has an interesting programme on the BBC - great British railway journeys. In the Daily Mail he has written about his pride in having, as Minister for Transport, saved the Settle and Carlisle Line when BR wanted it closed. In this instance he managed to persuade Baroness Thatcher that heritage was more important than economics, and, regardless of the other good and bad things they did in politics, we should be thankful to him and her for this generous act.
The series can be watched on BBC iPlayer
[I don't know what religion Mr Portillo is but on Wikipedia (which is never wrong) it says that eh took the name 'Xavier' at Confirmation and his father was Spanish, albeit a Republican, so it is possible he is a Catholic]