Former Prime Minister David Cameron has made a return to the UK government as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet reshuffle. Cameron, who served as Prime Minister from 2010 to 2016, has replaced James Cleverly as the Foreign Secretary. Cleverly, in turn, replaced Suella Braverman, who was sacked as the Home Secretary.
The reshuffle has drawn attention due to controversial comments made by Braverman and Cameron’s recent public criticism of Sunak’s decision to scrap a leg of the high-speed rail project, HS2. Braverman faced backlash after describing “pro-Palestinian mobs” as “disturbingly reminiscent” of scenes during the conflict in Northern Ireland. Her comments were criticized for potentially stoking tensions ahead of a pro-Palestinian march in London on November 11, the UK’s Remembrance Day, which saw violent clashes involving far-right protesters.
Braverman expressed her gratitude for serving as Home Secretary, stating that it had been the greatest privilege of her life. However, she did not provide further details about her future plans. Cameron, on the other hand, praised Sunak’s leadership, acknowledging their differences in opinion but emphasizing the importance of standing by allies and addressing global challenges such as the war in Ukraine and the crisis in the Middle East.
David Cameron is primarily associated with the center of the Conservative Party. He served as party leader from 2005 to 2016 and became the youngest Prime Minister since 1812 when he assumed office in 2010. Cameron resigned in 2016 after calling and losing the referendum on the UK’s membership in the European Union. His resignation triggered a tumultuous period in British politics, characterized by a shift towards the populist right within the Conservative Party. Cameron was later implicated in the “Greensill scandal” for allegedly lobbying Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to provide pandemic-related government support to Greensill Capital, a struggling financial services company. However, three separate inquiries concluded that Cameron had not violated any lobbying rules or acted unlawfully.
Outside of the UK, Cameron has been associated with Chinese interests in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly through his support for the controversial Colombo Port City project in Sri Lanka. The project is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Suella Braverman, known for her right-wing views, has been a prominent figure within the Conservative Party. She strongly supported Brexit and gained attention for her plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, a move that was criticized by the European Court of Human Rights as “unacceptable.” Braverman resigned as Home Secretary in September 2022 during the premiership of Liss Truss after it was discovered that she had sent official documents from her personal email address. However, she was reinstated to the position six days later by Rishi Sunak. Braverman is considered a favorite among the right-wing of the Conservative Party and has made headlines with her extreme remarks on immigration and her controversial description of homelessness as a “lifestyle choice.”
Overall, the Cabinet reshuffle has sparked interest and raised questions due to the controversial statements and actions of both David Cameron and Suella Braverman. Their appointments in key government positions will undoubtedly shape the direction of UK policies and attract scrutiny from various quarters.
More detail via Times of Oman here… ( Image via Times of Oman )