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David Cameron vows to stick to collective responsibility despite Remainer past and pro-HS2 views as he insistes he has quit ALL his other jobs to be Foreign Secretary


David Cameron vowed to stick to collective responsibility today despite his Remainer history and pro-HS2 stance.

The former PM insisted he is ready to fall into line with the government’s policies as he gave his first interview as Foreign Secretary.

Lord Cameron – who was made a peer this morning as Rishi Sunak shocked Westminster by bringing him into the Cabinet – also stressed that he has given up all of his other jobs to serve as a minister.

MPs have vented fury at the ‘astonishing’ high-stakes reshuffle, which ousted Suella Braverman and installing a host of ‘Cameroon’ centrists as Mr Sunak desperately tries to shift the dial ahead of the general election. 

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, a close ally of Mr Sunak with less trenchant views than Ms Braverman on the European Convention on Human Rights, is taking over in the Home Office

In a decision that sent an earthquake through Westminster, Mr Cameron has been handed Mr Cleverly’s old role. He receives a peerage so he can assume the government post, because he is not an MP. 

He is the first member of the Upper House to hold the role since Lord Carrington in the 1980s, and the first ex-PM to return to Cabinet since Alec Douglas-Home in the 1970s.

Laura Trott, Lord Cameron’s former speechwriter, has been pushed up the ranks from a lowly pensions minister to become Chief Secretary to the Treasury. And loyalist Ric Holden – who was deputy head of the Tory press office when Lord Cameron was premier – becomes party chairman. 

In what looks like a sop to the right, Esther McVey – who also served in the ex-PM’s governments – has gone into No10 and is expected to be handed a mid-ranking post attending Cabinet.

An image issued by Downing Street of David Cameron back in the building to meet Rishi Sunak

An image issued by Downing Street of David Cameron back in the building to meet Rishi Sunak

A picture released by No10 of the PM chatting with David Cameron as he appointed him Foreign Secretary this morning

A picture released by No10 of the PM chatting with David Cameron as he appointed him Foreign Secretary this morning

Just weeks ago Lord Cameron condemned Mr Sunak’s decision to downgrade the HS2 rail project. Incredulous Tory MPs, who deeply distrust the peer who led the Remain campaign in the 2016 referendum, before quitting No10 and Parliament, also slammed him for fostering closer relations with China as premier. 

But jubilant arch-Remainer Lord Heseltine praised Mr Sunak for returning to the ‘centre ground’ and urged him to bring back George Osborne as well. 

Worryingly for the PM, a snap YouGov poll has found that just 24 per cent of Brits think the return of Lord Cameron is a good idea, compared to 38 per cent who fear it is a bad one.  

Who’s in and who’s out?

OUT

Suella Braverman – was Home Secretary

Therese Coffey – was Environment Secretary 

Jeremy Quin – was Paymaster General 

MOVING

James Cleverly – from Foreign Secretary to Home Secretary 

Steve Barclay – from Health Secretary to Environment Secretary 

Greg Hands – from Party Chair to business minister

John Glen – from Chief Secretary to the Treasury to Paymaster General 

IN 

David Cameron – Foreign Secretary

Ric Holden – Party Chair

Victoria Atkins – Health Secretary

Laura Trott – Chief Secretary to the Treasury 

Lee Rowley – Housing minister 

STAYING

Jeremy Hunt – Chancellor 

Lord Cameron admitted it is ‘not usual’ for a former PM to return to frontline politics in the way he has, but said ‘I believe in public service’.

He told broadcasters: ‘On the whole, as an ex-prime minister, I’ve tried to keep quiet about politics, stay out of politics. It’s hard enough being prime minister without having your predecessors endlessly giving a running commentary.

‘But of course I have disagreed with some individual decisions, but politics is a team enterprise.

‘I have decided to join this team because I believe Rishi Sunak is a good Prime Minister, doing a difficult job at a hard time.

‘I want to support him, I’m a member of the team. I accept the Cabinet collective responsibility that comes with that.’

Lord Cameron said he wanted to help Mr Sunak be a success as PM.

‘I know it’s not usual for a prime minister to come back in this way but I believe in public service,’ he said.

‘The Prime Minister asked me to do this job and it’s a time where we have some daunting challenges as a country – the conflict in the Middle East, the war in Ukraine.

‘Of course, I hope that six years as prime minister, 11 years leading the Conservative Party, gives me some useful experience and contacts and relationships and knowledge that I can help the Prime Minister to make sure we build our alliances, we build partnerships with our friends, we deter our enemies and we keep our country strong.

‘That’s why I’m doing the job and I’m delighted to accept.’

Lord Cameron also faced questions over the Greensill affair, in which he privately lobbied ministers in an attempt to win Greensill Capital access to an emergency coronavirus loan scheme.

The Commons Treasury Committee said the former MP displayed a ‘significant lack of judgment’, but cleared him of breaching lobbying rules.

In a statement earlier Lord Cameron said: ‘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. 

‘While I have been out of front-line politics for the last seven years, I hope that my experience – as Conservative Leader for eleven years and Prime Minister for six – will assist me in helping the Prime Minister to meet these vital challenges.’ 

Jeremy Hunt is staying as Chancellor with barely a week until the Autumn Statement, meaning that all four Great Offices of State are now held by men. 

The sacking of Ms Braverman came after an extraordinary week of rowing over handling of pro-Palestinian protests in London on Armistice Day. 

She drew the fury of No10 by lashing out at ‘hate marches’ and then penning an article accusing the police of bias without getting it cleared.

Critics have blamed her for inflaming violence with far-right counter-protesters taking to the streets – although the Tories are badly split with supporters saying the grim scenes in the capital proved her right.

In other developments, Liz Truss‘s former deputy Therese Coffey has quit as Environment Secretary. Steve Barclay has been shifted to her old brief, while Victoria Atkins assumes his role as Health Secretary.

Lord Cameron’s reappearance was a closely guarded secret and took Westminster by surprise. It is believed to have been brokered by ex-Cabinet minister Lord Hague, Mr Sunak’s predecessor as MP for Richmond in Yorkshire, over the past week.

No10 indicated that the original idea of bringing the ex-PM back came from Mr Sunak himself.  

The stunning move triggered turmoil on Conservative WhatsApp groups, with one message seen by Sky News saying: ‘WTAF!!!! DC had to resign because he failed to stand up to the EU and is completely gutless, he won’t be able to address the HOC at questions whilst we are actually witnessing two major conflicts and finally he is an unelected FS appointed by an unelected PM. Let’s see how this one plays out….’

With extreme sarcasm, one former minister in the right-wing ERG bloc told MailOnline: ‘We’re ecstatic. All we need is for Tobias Ellwood to be Defence Secretary and our joy will be complete.’

Another ERG member acknowledged that the appointment of Mr Cameron had ‘shock value’. ‘It completely takes the limelight away from Suella’s departure.’ 

A Tory insider said Mr Sunak was engaged in ‘top trolling of the right’. Ex-Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith, who has been sanctioned by China, said it was ‘astonishing’ to see Lord Cameron back.

‘It suggests that Sunak is intent on doing business with China at all costs,’ he told The Times. 

A Downing Street source said: ‘Rishi Sunak has asked Suella Braverman to leave government and she has accepted.’ 

In an ominous response, Ms Braverman said: ‘It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as Home Secretary. I will have more to say in due course.’ 

Westminster was in shock as David Cameron was unveiled as the new Foreign Secretary this morning

Westminster was in shock as David Cameron was unveiled as the new Foreign Secretary this morning 

Lord Cameron's former adviser Laura Trott was pushed up the ranks in the PM's reshuffle today

Lord Cameron’s former adviser Laura Trott was pushed up the ranks in the PM’s reshuffle today

David Cameron

James Cleverly

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (right) has taken over in the Home Office. In a decision that sent an earthquake through Westminster David Cameron (left) has taken over Mr Cleverly’s old job

Suella Braverman was sacked as Home Secretary by Rishi Sunak today

Suella Braverman was sacked as Home Secretary by Rishi Sunak today

The PM is trying to restore his authority with potentially less than a year to a general election

Steve Barclay

Therese Coffey

Former deputy PM Therese Coffey (right) has returned to the backbenches, while Steve Barclay (left) looks to have lost a battle to stay at health 

Worryingly for the PM, a snap YouGov poll has found that just 24 per cent of Brits think the return of Lord Cameron is a good idea, compared to 38 per cent who fear it is a bad one

The now Lord Cameron said he had 'gladly accepted' the appointment as Foreign Secretary

The now Lord Cameron said he had ‘gladly accepted’ the appointment as Foreign Secretary 

There is speculation that Victoria Atkins could be pushed up the ranks to Health Secretary in the reshuffle

There is speculation that Victoria Atkins could be pushed up the ranks to Health Secretary in the reshuffle

The Rishi loyalists climbing the Cabinet tree 

VICTORIA ATKINS – HEALTH SECRETARY 

Victoria Atkins joined the House of Commons in the same 2015 intake as Rishi Sunak – the election when David Cameron defied the polls to win his outright majority. 

The 47-year-old MP for Louth and Horncastle was quickly identified as a talent, and was kept in the government tent by Theresa May despite offering strong backing for Remain in the referendum.

She has served in a variety of Home Office briefs, and most recently was City minister at the treasury.

She is seen as a solid TV performer, although she has had awkward episodes – including being unable to say on LBC how many police officers there were.

She also recused herself from speaking on drugs policy as her husband’s firm British Sugar had been granted a Home Office licence to grow cannabis to be used in medicine. 

Ms Atkins has been a long-standing campaigner for boosting childcare, and women’s rights.

She recently took her teenage son on a round of broadcast interviews after being unable to make other arrangements to cover childcare.   

LAURA TROTT – CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY

Laura Trott is expected to become a familiar face for voters in the run-up to the election.   

The 38-year-old was a key member of David Cameron’s team during his six years in Downing Street.

The married mother-of-three was educated at Oxford, and worked as a strategic consultant before joining the Tories just before the 2010 election.

She rose to be strategic communications at No10, writing many of his speeches – and received an MBE in the premier’s resignation honours.  

After a stint in the private sector, Ms Trott won selection for the plum seat of Sevenoaks and was elected in 2019 – the first woman to represent the constituency.

Her promotion to Chief Secretary to the Treasury – attending Cabinet – is a big step up from junior pensions minister.

But she is seen as a good performer in the media, and will be deployed regularly to make the government’s case. 

Challenged on Lord Cameron’s Remainer history, Downing Street said Mr Sunak is ‘looking to the future’ rather than dwelling on the past.

The PM’s press secretary said: ‘We’re at a point now where we are looking to the future, we’re not looking to the past as a party.

‘We have a PM that voted Brexit, believed in it, has championed it, so that’s what we’re focused on.’

Asked if Lord Cameron believes in Brexit, she said: ‘Yes, of course. We are making Brexit a success.’

In an interview this evening, Lord Cameron told broadcasters: ‘On the whole, as an ex-prime minister, I’ve tried to keep quiet about politics, stay out of politics. It’s hard enough being prime minister without having your predecessors endlessly giving a running commentary.

‘But of course I have disagreed with some individual decisions, but politics is a team enterprise.

‘I have decided to join this team because I believe Rishi Sunak is a good Prime Minister, doing a difficult job at a hard time.

‘I want to support him, I’m a member of the team. I accept the Cabinet collective responsibility that comes with that.’

Downing Street dismissed ‘tick-box diversity’ as it defended four privately educated men now holding the great offices of state.

Junior ministers join Braverman in leaving government

Suella Braverman was not the only departure from the Government today as a slew of long-serving ministers chose to resign today. 

Three ministers confirmed they were using the reshuffle to voluntarily step down, rather than because they were allied to the former Home Secretary. 

Schools minister Nick Gibb announced he was standing down from the role after three terms spanning nine years.

The veteran minister, who has been the Conservative MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton in West Sussex for 26 years, said he had been ‘discussing taking up a diplomatic role’ after the general election and had asked Mr Sunak if he could step down at the reshuffle and he had agreed.

He has overseen curriculum and exam reforms during his tenure and has been an advocate of phonics as a method of teaching children to read.

Additionally, Jesse Norman, the MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, said he has quit as a minister in the Department for Transport. He had previously held posts in the Treasury and Foreign Office.

Will Quince has also quit as a minister in the Department of Health and Social Care. He said he was leaving as he was standing down at the next election and would now focus on his training as a specialist reserve officer in the Army and his work as a constituency MP.

‘The Deputy Prime Minister (Oliver Dowden) went to a state school,’ the Prime Minister’s press secretary said.

‘This is about having a strong and united team that’s focused on delivering for the public and bringing in some of that experience, with David Cameron on the foreign policy brief to deliver the best for the country.

‘That’s what we’re focused on rather than tick-box diversity.’

She insisted that other women were getting good jobs in Government, saying: ‘You will see a lot of women rising up the ranks today.

‘What I will also say is Conservatives don’t do tick-box diversity.’

Ms Braverman had sounded defiance last night despite mounting speculation about her fate, releasing a statement saying pro-Gaza demos ‘polluting’ the streets with hate ‘can’t go on’. She slammed the ‘valorising of terrorism’ on Armistice Day and said further action was needed.

Briefing out of No10 overnight suggested that the government is looking at toughening up the rules for police blocking such protests – which have been happening weekly in the capital. 

Having held off before the Remembrance weekend, Downing Street seems to have decided it must act before a key court judgment on the Rwanda policy on Wednesday.

The government is braced to lose the case, with concerns that Ms Braverman might have attempted to burnish her credentials with the Tory right by quitting and demanding the UK leaves the European Convention on Human Rights. 

The Conservatives announced the reshuffle was starting with a message on social media saying Mr Sunak is ‘strengthening his team… to deliver long-term decisions for a brighter future’. 

Lower down the food chain, health minister Neil O’Brien and long-serving education minister Nick Gibb have announced they are leaving government. 

Science minister George Freeman resigned ‘with a heavy heart’, and another health minister, Will Quince, has quit ahead of standing down at the next election.

Referring to concerns about how MPs will scrutinise Lord Cameron, Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said he was investigating mechanisms.

Peers cannot come to the House of Commons to answer questions due to the constitutional divide – which prevents the Upper chamber from even being named directly. Instead the convention is to describe it as ‘the other place’. 

Making a statement to MPs, Sir Lindsay said: ‘This is not the first time in recent years that a Cabinet minister has been appointed in the House of Lords. But given the gravity of the current international situation, it is especially important that this House is able to scrutinise the work of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office effectively.

‘I have therefore commissioned advice from the clerks about possible options for enhancing (scrutiny) of the work of the Foreign Secretary when that post is filled by a member of the other House.

‘I also look forward to hearing the Government’s proposals on how the Foreign Secretary will be properly accountable to this House.’

The Institute for Government’s senior researcher Dr Alice Lilly said it was ‘highly unusual’ for secretaries of state to serve in the Lords – the last was Baroness Morgan as culture secretary as an interim measure in 2019-20.

During Gordon Brown’s administration, Lord Mandelson served as business secretary and Lord Adonis as transport secretary.

‘After Adonis and Mandelson, the Lords put in place procedures to ensure that Secretaries of State in the Lords would have to answer questions in the Lords in the same way that they would do in the Commons, so I expect that will happen again,’ Dr Lilly said.

‘And obviously there are plenty of other ministers in the Foreign Office who will be able to answer MPs’ questions, so it’s not like there will be nothing, but it won’t be direct from the Foreign Secretary.’

Lord Heseltine told Sky News he welcomed the appointment as taking the party back to the political centre ground. ‘If Rishi is really in the business of recasting the Tories he should bring back George Osborne,’ he said. 

Former minister Andrea Jenkyns said Ms Braverman had been ‘sacked for speaking the truth’, and it was a ‘bad call by Rishi caving in to the left’.

Although Lord Cameron’s comeback triggered sharp intakes of breath on the right, it was hailed by some of his former allies.

Theresa May posted on the X social media site: ‘Congratulations to @DavidCameron on his return to government. 

‘His immense experience on the international stage will be invaluable at this time of great uncertainty in our world. Looking forward to working together again!’

Lord Cameron is the first former prime minister to return to government since Alec Douglas-Home.

During the Cameron administration there was a ‘golden era’ of UK-China co-operation, something Mr Sunak described as ‘naive’ last year following growing tensions with Beijing.

Lord Cameron had also been critical of Mr Sunak’s decision to scrap the northern leg of HS2, while the PM used his Tory conference speech to distance himself from the legacy of his predecessors.

But the former premier made clear he backed Mr Sunak and would work with him to help the Tories win the general election expected next year.

Cameron needs a peerage to join Cabinet  

David Cameron’s appointment as Foreign Secretary marks the first time in more than 50 years that a former PM has returned to Government to serve under a successor.

In taking up the post, Mr Cameron is following in the footsteps of fellow former PM Alec Douglas-Home, who became Foreign Secretary under Edward Heath in 1970.

However, Douglas-Home was still a sitting MP when he made his comeback, whilst Mr Cameron left Parliament entirely after stepping down as PM in 2016.

It means he has had to be appointed a member of the House of Lords to maintain the convention that members of the Government must be serving in Parliament.

The last member of the House of Lords to be Foreign Secretary was Peter Carrington, who served under Margaret Thatcher from 1979 until 1982, when he resigned following Argentina’s invasion of the Falklands Islands.

The new Foreign Secretary said: ‘Though I may have disagreed with some individual decisions, it is clear to me that Rishi Sunak is a strong and capable Prime Minister, who is showing exemplary leadership at a difficult time.

‘I want to help him to deliver the security and prosperity our country needs and be part of the strongest possible team that serves the United Kingdom and that can be presented to the country when the general election is held. ‘

Mr Cleverly was asked if he wanted to distance himself from the language of his predecessor Ms Braverman.

He told broadcasters: ‘Well, I intend to do this job in the way I feel best protects the British people and our interests.

‘I have had a very good conversation with the Prime Minister, who had made it very clear that he wants us to deliver on our promises to stop the boats, to protect the British people, make sure everybody feels secure in their lives.’

News of Mrs Braverman’s exit came as defence minister James Heappey was touring broadcast studios.

Minutes before she was sacked, he had told LBC that Mr Sunak and his team in No 10 had been ‘very clear she (Mrs Braverman) has his confidence and, in that sense, one would imagine that she will continue’.

But he was told on air during an ITV Good Morning Britain interview that she had been sacked, leaving him to say: ‘Your viewers will be enjoying my discomfort, but it is in this case difficult to offer commentary when I just don’t know what is going on.’

Labour frontbencher Pat McFadden immediately seized on the return for Lord Cameron.

‘A few weeks ago Rishi Sunak said David Cameron was part of a failed status quo, now he’s bringing him back as his life raft,’ he said. 

‘This puts to bed the Prime Minister’s laughable claim to offer change from 13 years of Tory failure.’

More than 100 arrests were made after clashes involving far-Right groups and pro-Palestine protesters in central London on Saturday.

Mrs Braverman’s intervention came as speculation rages about her political future after she clashed with Downing Street over a newspaper article, which critics said inflamed tensions.

Laura Trott - a former speechwriter for Lord Cameron - has been tipped for promotion today

Laura Trott – a former speechwriter for Lord Cameron – has been tipped for promotion today 

Jeremy Hunt is staying on as Chancellor, with just over a week until the Autumn Statement

Jeremy Hunt is staying on as Chancellor, with just over a week until the Autumn Statement

Mr Cameron is the first member of the Upper House to hold the role since Lord Carrington in the 1980s

Mr Cameron is the first member of the Upper House to hold the role since Lord Carrington in the 1980s

The Conservatives announced the reshuffle was starting with a message on social media saying Mr Sunak is 'strengthening his team... to deliver long-term decisions for a brighter future'

The Conservatives announced the reshuffle was starting with a message on social media saying Mr Sunak is ‘strengthening his team… to deliver long-term decisions for a brighter future’

Although Lord Cameron's comeback triggered sharp intakes of breath on the right, it was hailed by some of his former allies

Although Lord Cameron’s comeback triggered sharp intakes of breath on the right, it was hailed by some of his former allies

The Tories are lagging far behind in the polls with MPs increasingly nervous about Mr Sunak's failure to make an impact

The Tories are lagging far behind in the polls with MPs increasingly nervous about Mr Sunak’s failure to make an impact

Police detain a man during protests in central London on Saturday

Police detain a man during protests in central London on Saturday

Ahead of Saturday’s protest, the Home Secretary branded it a ‘hate march’ and accused officers of ‘playing favourites’ with protesters. Last night, amid rumours of a Cabinet reshuffle, she doubled down on her comments.

In uncompromising language, Mrs Braverman tweeted that chants, placards and posters carried by some protesters were ‘clearly criminal’ and marked a ‘new low’.

She added: ‘Anti-Semitism and other forms of racism together with the valorising of terrorism on such a scale is deeply troubling.

‘This can’t go on. Week by week, the streets of London are being polluted by hate, violence, and anti-Semitism. Members of the public are being mobbed and intimidated. Jewish people in particular feel threatened. Further action is necessary.’

Lord Cameron’s seismic appointment as Foreign Secretary marks the first time in more than 50 years that a former PM has returned to Government to serve under a successor.

In taking up the post, Mr Cameron is following in the footsteps of fellow former PM Alec Douglas-Home, who became Foreign Secretary under Edward Heath in 1970.

However, Douglas-Home was still a sitting MP when he made his comeback, whilst Mr Cameron left Parliament entirely after stepping down as PM in 2016.

It means he has had to be appointed a member of the House of Lords to maintain the convention that members of the Government must be serving in Parliament.

The last member of the House of Lords to be Foreign Secretary was Peter Carrington, who served under Margaret Thatcher from 1979 until 1982, when he resigned following Argentina’s invasion of the Falklands Islands.

Whistling on the way out of politics… grinning on the way back in: The unlikely comeback of David Cameron 

David Cameron is the hoodie-hugging former prime minister who called the Brexit referendum to end Tory squabbling over Europe – and it cost him the job.

The 57-year-old led the country in the Coalition government from 2010 to 2015 and then for another year as head of a Tory majority government.

But after leading the Remain campaign to defeat, instead of what he thought would be a comfortable victory, he swiftly quit No 10 – and then Parliament – in humiliation.

His return to the Cabinet as Foreign Secretary as Lord Cameron was a left-field move in Rishi Sunak‘s reshuffle today.

Mr Cameron was successful in rebuilding the Tories after massive election defeats in 1997, 2001 and 2005, by becoming more socially liberal – he is known for his ‘hug a hoodie’ speech urging a softer approach to social justice. He also legislated for gay marriage when prime minister.

But more recently the former MP for Witney has become better known for owning a posh shed and for his role in a major lobbying scandal during Covid involving a firm for which he was a paid adviser.

It comes after he has repeatedly ruled out a return to frontline politics and just weeks after he crtiticised Mr Sunak for scrapping HS2.

Former prime minister Theresa May, who served as home secretary in Lord Cameron’s government, has said the former Conservative leader‘s experience on the international stage ‘will be invaluable’ in his role as Foreign Secretary. 

But Pat McFadden, Labour‘s national campaign co-ordinator, said: ‘A few weeks ago, Rishi Sunak said David Cameron was part of a failed status quo, now he’s bringing him back as his life raft.’

The 57-year-old led the country as PM in the Coalition government from 2010 to 2015 and then for another year as head of a Tory majority government

The 57-year-old led the country as PM in the Coalition government from 2010 to 2015 and then for another year as head of a Tory majority government

After leading the Remain campaign to defeat (top) instead of what he thought would be a comfortable victory he swiftly quit No10 - and then Parliament - in humiliation in 2016 (above)

After leading the Remain campaign to defeat (top) instead of what he thought would be a comfortable victory he swiftly quit No10 – and then Parliament – in humiliation in 2016 (above)

Lord Cameron said he wanted to help Mr Sunak ‘deliver the security and prosperity our country needs and be part of the strongest possible team that serves the United Kingdom, and that can be presented to the country when the general election is held’.

‘I believe in public service. That is what first motivated me to get involved in politics in the 1980s, to work in government in the 1990s, become a member of Parliament in the 2000s and put myself forward as party leader and prime minister.’

He said the Foreign Office, the UK’s diplomats and spies and its aid capabilities were ‘some of the finest assets of their kind anywhere in the world’.

‘I know from my time in office that they are staffed by brilliant, patriotic and hard-working people. They have been well led by James Cleverly, with whom I look forward to working in his vital new role.

‘It will be an honour to serve our country alongside our dedicated FCDO staff and provide the continued leadership and support that they deserve.’

He will face a more complex and unstable world on his return to Government as Foreign Secretary, with crises across the globe demanding his attention.

Most pressing is the Israel-Hamas conflict, which could still escalate into a regional conflagration.

Mr Cameron was successful in rebuilding the Tories after massive election defeats in 1997, 2001 and 2005, by becoming more socially liberal – he is known for his 'hug a hoodie' speech urging a softer approach to social justice.

Mr Cameron was successful in rebuilding the Tories after massive election defeats in 1997, 2001 and 2005, by becoming more socially liberal – he is known for his ‘hug a hoodie’ speech urging a softer approach to social justice.

As recently as Thursday, James Cleverly was in Saudi Arabia discussing efforts to prevent escalation with Middle Eastern foreign ministers, and Lord Cameron will face an immediate task of carrying on that diplomatic effort.

The ongoing war in Ukraine will continue to make demands on the new Foreign Secretary’s attention, with Ukrainian President Zelensky warning of a ‘winter onslaught’ from Russia that will require further support from the West.

As prime minister, Lord Cameron deployed UK troops to train Ukrainian forces in 2015 following Russia’s seizure of Crimea, which he described as a ‘flagrant breach of international law’.

But more recently he took a more low-key role, driving a small lorry full of supplies for Ukrainian refugees to the country’s border with Poland in March 2022.

Mr Cameron announced the surprising intervention on Twitter, where he said he had been volunteering for two years at a food project in west Oxfordshire called the Chippy Larder.

Through the project, he said donations had been taken in for refugees from Ukraine and they now had enough ‘to fill a small lorry with everything from nappies to sanitary products, warm clothes to first aid kits’.

As prime minister, Lord Cameron deployed UK troops to train Ukrainian forces in 2015 following Russia's seizure of Crimea, which he described as a 'flagrant breach of international law'. But more recently he took a more low-key role, driving a small lorry full of supplies for Ukrainian refugees to the country's border with Poland in March 2022.

As prime minister, Lord Cameron deployed UK troops to train Ukrainian forces in 2015 following Russia’s seizure of Crimea, which he described as a ‘flagrant breach of international law’. But more recently he took a more low-key role, driving a small lorry full of supplies for Ukrainian refugees to the country’s border with Poland in March 2022. 

In the longer term, it is the UK’s relationship with China that is likely to be the most challenging of Lord Cameron’s tasks.

As prime minister, he presided over the so-called ‘golden era’ of relations between Britain and China, hosting a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping and welcoming investment from Beijing into the UK.

Since then, relations between the two countries have deteriorated. In his first foreign policy speech as Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak declared the golden era over and described the pursuit of closer economic ties over the previous decade as ‘naive’.

But Lord Cameron has maintained ties with China. In 2017, for instance, he accepted a role as vice-president of a £1 billion China-UK investment fund, in a move described by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee as possibly ‘in some part engineered by the Chinese state to lend credibility to Chinese investment, as well as to the broader China brand’.

It comes after he has repeatedly ruled out a return to frontline politics and just weeks after he crtiticised Mr Sunak for scrapping HS2.

It comes after he has repeatedly ruled out a return to frontline politics and just weeks after he crtiticised Mr Sunak for scrapping HS2.

Lord Cameron’s record on China has already led some to criticise his appointment as Foreign Secretary.

Luke de Pulford, executive director of the sinosceptic Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, said it was an ‘incomprehensible, retrograde appointment’ and described Lord Cameron as ‘out of step with Parliament and the country on China’.

Mr Cameron emerged as Tory leader in 2005 after Michael Howard followed William Hague in failing to return the Tories to power at a general election. 

He set about modernising the party in a bid to widen its appeal, a move epitomised by his ‘hug-a-hoodie’ speech.

While he did not advocate cuddles for criminals directly, his 2006 speech did suggest a less hardline approach to law and order than hammered out by his predecessors.

‘We – the people in suits – often see hoodies as aggressive, the uniform of a rebel army of young gangsters,’ he said.

‘But, for young people, hoodies are often more defensive than offensive. They’re a way to stay invisible in the street. In a dangerous environment the best thing to do is keep your head down, blend in, don’t stand out.

‘For some, the hoodie represents all that’s wrong about youth culture in Britain today. For me, adult society’s response to the hoodie shows how far we are from finding the long-term answers to put things right.’

Lord Cameron was PM during a time of warmer Sino-British relations. He is seen here with president Xi Jinping at a pub in Princess Risborough in 2015

Lord Cameron was PM during a time of warmer Sino-British relations. He is seen here with president Xi Jinping at a pub in Princess Risborough in 2015

In political retirement he stayed largely out of the public eye, apart from occasional appearances, including with wife Samantha

In political retirement he stayed largely out of the public eye, apart from occasional appearances, including with wife Samantha

He returned to his home in the Cotswolds and famously bought a £25,000 shepherds hut in which to write his memoir. He could afford it - after resigning he was handed an £800,000 book deal.

He returned to his home in the Cotswolds and famously bought a £25,000 shepherds hut in which to write his memoir. He could afford it – after resigning he was handed an £800,000 book deal.

In 2010 he entered No10 alongside Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg in the Coalition that ousted Labour’s Gordon Brown.

In the wake of the 2008 financial crash they instituted a campaign of political austerity that has had repercussions to this day.

But it was Europe that was to define his political career. With the Tories riven by rows over EU membership since at least 1992’s Maastricht Treaty he decided to get the hardliners to put up or shut up. 

He vowed to hold a vote on the UK’s membership if he won the 2015 election, and after his win he called it for June 23, 2016, and personally helped lead the Remain campaign.

When, in the early hours of June 24 the result was 52-48 in favour of leaving, it was the death knell for his premiership. 

Within hours he had announced he would quit as PM and by mid September he had left the Commons altogether. 

In political retirement he stayed largely out of the public eye, apart from occasional appearances. He returned to his home in the Cotswolds and famously bought a £25,000 shepherds hut in which to write his memoir. He could afford it – after resigning he was handed an £800,000 book deal.

Mr Cameron also made a career out of after-dinner speaking, reportedly earning up to £120,000 an hour.

The Eton and Oxford-educated former politician’s first major private sector job after leaving office was as an advisor to the electronic payments firm First Data Corporation, which he joined in October 2017.

He also had a paid advisory role with Illumina, a US genomics firm that specialises in research into genetic health conditions.

And in 2019 he was announced as the head of the advisory board of the billion-pound US artificial intelligence firm Afiniti, which also employed Princess Beatrice.

Mr Cameron was also involved in a new UK-China investment fund, with PR veteran Lord Chadlington.

He has unpaid roles as president of Alzheimer’s Research UK and chairman of the National Citizen Service’s board of patrons.

But it was another job that was to cause him the most trouble. In March 2021 Mr Cameron was cleared of breaching lobbying rules by allegedly asking the Chancellor for emergency Covid loans worth millions for a firm he advised.

The ex-Tory leader faced a probe over text messages he was reported to have sent to Rishi Sunak and senior civil servants on behalf of Greensill Capital before it went into administration.

His activities were investigated by Harry Rich, the registrar of consultant lobbyists – a post set up in legislation passed by Mr Cameron’s Government in 2014.

But he ruled today that Mr Cameron’s role with the Anglo-Australian financial services firm was not that of a lobbyist and therefore no rules had been broken.

‘Based on detailed information and assurances provided, Mr Cameron’s activities do not fall within the criteria that require registration on the Register of Consultant Lobbyists,’ the watchdog’s decision said.

The former prime minister is said to have texted the Chancellor’s private mobile in a bid to secure government-backed funding for Greensill.

He is also alleged to have approached the Bank of England about the firm, which collapsed into administration earlier this month.

Mr Sunak ignored most of the messages and instead referred Mr Cameron to senior Treasury officials, according to The Sunday Times.

Those contacted by the ex-Tory premier were said to include Tom Scholar, the permanent secretary, and Charles Roxburgh, the second permanent secretary.

The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 makes it an offence for someone who is not a registered lobbyist to directly lobby ministers or senior civil servants.

But people lobbying on behalf of their own organisation are not required to register.

The watchdog said it had received ‘comprehensive assurances’ from Mr Cameron that any contact he had with any Government minister or Permanent Secretary was made as an employee of Greensill.

Greensill was the main financial backer for Liberty Steel, which owns 12 plants in the UK and employs 5,000 people.



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