British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak brought back former leader David Cameron as foreign minister on Monday in a reshuffle triggered by his firing of interior minister Suella Braverman after her criticism of the police threatened his authority.
It was the latest reset for a prime minister whose party is badly lagging the Labour Party before an election expected next year, and the return of Cameron to government suggested Sunak wanted to bring in more centrist, experienced hands rather than appease the right of his party which supported Braverman.
Under fire from opposition lawmakers and members of the governing Conservative Party to eject Braverman, Sunak seemed to have brought forward a long-planned reshuffle to bring in allies and remove ministers he felt were not performing.
Sunak’s hand was forced when the ever-controversial Braverman defied Sunak last week in an unauthorized article accusing police of “double standards” at protests, suggesting they were tough on right-wing demonstrators, but easy on pro-Palestinian marchers.
The opposition Labour Party said that inflamed tensions between a pro-Palestinian demonstration and a far-right counter protest on Saturday, when nearly 150 people were arrested.
CAMERON TO FOREIGN OFFICE?
She was replaced by James Cleverly, who had relished his job as foreign minister but who is seen as a safe pair of hands.
In a surprise move, Cameron, who was ousted from power after his gamble to call a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union in 2016 backfired, was made foreign minister.
His appointment was welcomed by more centrist Conservatives, who say his international experience will help steady the ship.
But Braverman’s removal and Cameron’s return angered some Conservatives on the right of the party. One lawmaker said her removal was disappointing and Braverman could become a vocal force on the so-called backbenches in parliament.