June 18, 2024

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David Cameron returns as UK foreign secretary after Suella Braverman is sacked

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Rishi Sunak on Monday stunned Westminster by restoring David Cameron to the political frontline as foreign secretary, in a dramatic reshuffle that included the sacking of controversial home secretary Suella Braverman.

James Cleverly, who was foreign secretary, replaced Braverman at the Home Office with a remit to calm community tensions after a weekend of protest and violence on the streets of London.

But the biggest surprise came when Cameron, who has played virtually no political role since quitting as prime minister after the 2016 Brexit vote, was handed the post of foreign secretary. Jeremy Hunt remains as chancellor.

Sunak used his Tory conference speech last month to promise to be the “change” prime minister, denouncing the failures of “30 years of consensus”. Now he has turned to his centrist predecessor for help.

With the Tories trailing Labour by more than 20 points in opinion polls, the reshuffle represents Sunak’s last throw of the dice in terms of building a team ahead of the next election.

The move of the emollient Cleverly to the Home Office and the restoration of Cameron, a classic Home Counties Tory, suggests Sunak has decided to present a less abrasive face to the public. Cameron will become a life peer.

Cameron, Tory prime minister from 2010-16, was recently at the centre of the biggest lobbying scandal in Britain for decades when the Financial Times revealed he had secretly lobbied former colleagues in government on behalf of his employer Greensill Capital. 

“A few weeks ago Rishi Sunak said David Cameron was part of a failed status quo, now he’s bringing him back as his life raft,” said Pat McFadden, Labour’s campaign chief. “This puts to bed the prime minister’s laughable claim to offer change from 13 years of Tory failure.”

Braverman’s sacking will provoke a backlash from some rightwing Tory MPs,…

2023-11-13 05:16:04

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