Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has sacked Suella Braverman as home secretary and appointed former prime minister David Cameron as foreign secretary, in a dramatic cabinet reshuffle on Monday.
Mr Sunak said he had decided to make some changes to his cabinet “to ensure we have the right team to deliver for the British people”.
Ms Braverman, who had made controversial comments about the policing of protests, was fired after she wrote an article for The Times, without Downing Street’s approval, accusing the police of favouring leftwing protesters over rightwing ones.
She said the police had “lost the trust and confidence of the public” and had become “politicised and biased, favouring the left over the right, the woke over the patriotic, the globalist over the nationalist”.
She was blamed for inflaming tensions that led to clashes between far-right groups and police near the Cenotaph on Saturday, where a wreath laid by the Queen was damaged.
This was the second time Ms Braverman had been sacked from the same post, after she was forced to resign by Liz Truss in October last year for using a private email address to send confidential information.
Mr Cameron, who resigned as prime minister in 2016 after the Brexit referendum, made a surprise return to politics as foreign secretary, seven years after leaving office.
He said he was “delighted to be back in government and to serve as foreign secretary at this critical time for our country and the world”.
He said he would work to “strengthen our alliances, promote our values and interests, and tackle the global challenges we face”.
Mr Cameron’s appointment was seen as a sign of Mr Sunak’s ambition to restore Britain’s reputation and influence on the world stage, after the damage caused by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, it was also met with criticism from the opposition and some of his former colleagues, who accused him of being responsible for the chaos and division that followed the Brexit vote.
Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition, said this was a “shocking and reckless move” by Mr Sunak.
He said Mr Sunak had “brought back the man who plunged the country into chaos and division with his disastrous Brexit gamble”.
He said Mr Cameron had “no credibility or authority on the world stage” and questioned his judgment and integrity, after he was embroiled in a lobbying scandal earlier this year.
Mr Starmer said Mr Sunak had “failed to show leadership” and had “put his own interests ahead of the national interest”.
He said the cabinet reshuffle was a “desperate attempt to distract from the failures and scandals of this government”.
He said the British people deserved better than a “recycled and discredited” cabinet.
– Suella Braverman, Britain’s hardline home secretary, fired as ex-PM David Cameron makes surprise return to government, MSN, 11/13/2023
– David Cameron returns to British government after hardline Home Secretary Suella Braverman is fired, Yahoo, 11/13/2023
– Former Prime Minister David Cameron Returns to U.K. Government as Foreign Secretary, Time, 11/13/2023
– Cameron makes dramatic return to Government after Braverman sacked, Express & Star, 11/13/2023