In a dramatic turn of events, former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has been appointed as the new Foreign Secretary in a cabinet reshuffle by current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. This move marks Cameron’s return to frontline politics after a seven-year hiatus.
Cameron, who led the country from 2010 to 2016 and resigned following the Brexit referendum, expressed his readiness to assist Sunak in facing the nation’s challenges. “I gladly accepted the offer from Rishi Sunak, despite having disagreed with some individual decisions,” Cameron said. He praised Sunak as a “strong and capable prime minister,” and highlighted his commitment to the United Kingdom’s security and prosperity.
This reshuffle followed the dismissal of the controversial Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who faced criticism for her remarks on policing and her stance on various issues including immigration and homelessness. Braverman’s tenure was marked by scandals and divisive comments, often causing rifts within the government.
Braverman’s recent article in The Times, where she accused the police of showing “double standards” at protests, particularly around a pro-Palestinian demonstration, was seen as the last straw. Neil Basu, former head of counter-terrorism policing in the UK, condemned her comments, stating, “Making comments that are potentially divisive is a very dangerous thing to do… no home secretary we’ve served under would have done the same thing.”
In her place, James Cleverly, formerly the Foreign Secretary, has been appointed as the new Home Secretary. Cleverly, who served as Foreign Secretary since September last year, is seen as a more moderate and reliable figure in the Cabinet.
Cameron’s appointment has been received with mixed reactions. While some view his extensive experience as beneficial for the country’s international relations, others remember his tenure as marked by austerity policies and the controversial decision to hold the Brexit referendum. His role in the Conservative Party has been significant, noted for bringing the party back to power in 2010 and advocating for social policies like the legalization of same-sex marriage.
The reshuffle is viewed as Sunak’s attempt to stabilize his government, which has been struggling with internal conflicts and is lagging behind the Labour Party in polls. Cameron’s return is seen as an effort to bring experienced, centrist elements back into the government, moving away from the populism that marked the tenures of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.
Despite Cameron’s controversial past, including accusations of lobbying and his decisions over Brexit, his international experience is being touted as an asset for the current administration. His appointment suggests a shift in the Conservative Party’s strategy as it prepares for the general election next year.
While Cameron’s return to politics is a major development, the impact of Braverman’s dismissal and the broader implications of the reshuffle on the Conservative Party and U.K. politics remain to be seen.