British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday reshuffled key positions in his government after sacking Interior Minister Suella Braverman following her criticism of the police’s handling of a pro-Palestinian march.
Under fire from opposition lawmakers and members of his own governing Conservative Party to eject Braverman, Sunak moved against his interior minister, asking her “to leave government,” which she had accepted, a government source said.
Cleverly replaces Braverman
Monday’s government reshuffle saw Foreign Minister James Cleverly being named as the country’s new interior minister.
Cleverly welcomed his new position in a tweet on platform X, saying, “It is an honor to be appointed as Home Secretary. The goal is clear. My job is to keep people in this country safe.”
Cleverly takes over his new role after Braverman was fired for defying Sunak by publishing an article accusing the police of adopting “double standards” in its treatment of protests – an argument opposition Labour said inflamed tensions at a pro-Palestinian demonstration on Saturday.
More than 140 people were arrested after far-right counter-protesters skirmished with police, who tried to keep them away from the 300,000 pro-Palestinian marchers.
Former PM Cameron makes surprise return to government
As Sunak carried out a wider number of changes in his cabinet, former British leader David Cameron was named the country’s new Foreign Secretary.
Cameron, 57, served as British prime minister from 2010 to 2016, resigning after the outcome of the Brexit referendum when Britain voted to leave the European Union.
His unexpected return to the front line of British politics comes after he spent the last seven years writing his memoirs and involving himself in business, including Greensill Capital, a finance firm that later collapsed.
Greensill’s demise fueled questions about the extent to which former leaders can use their status to influence government policy after Cameron repeatedly contacted senior ministers in 2020 to lobby for the firm.
Sunak’s office said that King Charles had approved giving Cameron a seat in Britain’s upper chamber, the House of Lords, allowing him to return to government as a minister despite no longer being an elected member of parliament.
In his first comments after his surprise appointment, Cameron said he hoped his experience as prime minister would help him deal with current international challenges.
“We are facing a daunting set of international challenges, including the war in Ukraine and the crisis in the Middle East. At this time of profound global change, it has rarely been more important for this country to stand by our allies, strengthen our partnerships and make sure our voice is heard,” Cameron said in a statement shared on platform X.
“While I have been out of front-line politics for the last seven years, I hope that my experience – as Conservative Leader for 11 years and Prime Minister for six – will assist me in helping the Prime Minister to meet these vital challenges.”
Cameron also said Sunak is a “strong and capable Prime Minister, who is showing exemplary leadership at a difficult time.”
Hunt stays as finance minister
As the British leader changed his top team of ministers, the PM’s office confirmed that Jeremy Hunt would continue serving as finance minister, a position he has held since October 2022.