Britain’s former Prime Minister, David Cameron, was appointed as the new foreign secretary on Monday by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a reshuffle of his top team.
Cameron, who led the country from 2010 to 2016 before stepping down post-Brexit referendum, made an unexpected return to the forefront of British politics. His reentry follows seven years spent writing memoirs and engaging in business pursuits, notably involving Greensill Capital, a finance firm that eventually collapsed.
As part of the reshuffle preceding an anticipated general election next year, Sunak removed controversial interior minister Suella Braverman, replacing her with the former foreign minister, James Cleverly.
Under mounting pressure to dismiss Braverman, known for her outspoken right-wing views, critics accused her of exacerbating tensions during recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations and counter-protests in Britain.
In response to her dismissal, Braverman expressed, “It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as home secretary,” hinting at further statements to come.
The ruling Conservatives confirmed a significant reshuffle underway, the first since Sunak assumed leadership on October 25, 2022. The party’s announcement on social media marked the beginning of the changes aimed at strengthening the government team for future decisions.
Anticipated to reward loyalists and newer MPs, these alterations follow nearly 14 years of Conservative rule, which has taken a toll on the party’s popularity.
Throughout Sunak’s tenure, the Conservatives have trailed the main opposition, Labour, by significant margins and are widely expected to face challenges in the upcoming election next year.
Braverman’s tenure was marked by controversy, particularly in her staunch stance on immigration and involvement in divisive cultural issues. Describing her critics as the liberal “tofu-eating wokerati,” she drew attention, once expressing a desire to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
However, her position became increasingly unsustainable following a recent newspaper article, written without Sunak’s approval, accusing the police of bias toward left-wing causes. This inflamed tensions before a weekend of protests related to Israel’s conflict in Gaza and prompted calls for her dismissal.