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David Cameron’s return to politics branded ‘sensational’ by foreign press with the move described as Rishi Sunak’s ‘last lifeline’ – but others warn of ex-Prime Minister’s ‘baggage’


David Cameron‘s shock return to politics has stunned foreign press, with coverage describing the move as Rishi Sunak‘s ‘last lifeline’, while others warned of the former prime minister’s ‘baggage’. 

Rishi Sunak kicked off a dramatic reshuffle today with Suella Braverman axed as Home Secretary, before the extraordinary announcement of David Cameron’s return to politics in his appointment as foreign secretary

In a decision that sent an earthquake through Westminster, foreign press were also left reeling by the major shakeup, with Italian newspaper La Stampa reporting that the unexpected news left them ‘speechless’.  

One news anchor from the US news broadcaster MSNBC broke the news on its Morning Joe programme with a palpable tone of disbelief, saying the move ‘just feels like 2011 all over again’, adding that that the New York Post was ‘crushed’ that the former prime minister selected was not Boris Johnson

US news site CNN said that ‘Cameron comes with a lot of baggage’ after calling for a referendum in the UK’s membership of the European Union, which ‘many in British politics have not forgiven him for’, as well as being caught up in a lobbying scandal involving Greensil Capital. 

One news anchor from the US news broadcaster MSNBC broke the news on its Morning Joe programme with a palpable tone of disbelief, saying the move 'just feels like 2011 all over again'

One news anchor from the US news broadcaster MSNBC broke the news on its Morning Joe programme with a palpable tone of disbelief, saying the move ‘just feels like 2011 all over again’

The MSNBC anchor added that that the New York Post was 'crushed' that the former prime minister selected was not Boris Johnson

The MSNBC anchor added that that the New York Post was ‘crushed’ that the former prime minister selected was not Boris Johnson

Indian news site NDTV reported that the ‘desperate’ move surprised even those who comment regularly on British politics, and was understood to have been made with the upcoming general election in mind. 

Lord Rami Ranger appeared on NDTV, championing David Cameron, and said: ‘I think it’s wonderful David Cameron is back.’

He added: ‘David Cameron has a gravitas internationally, he knows all the world leaders – he’s very close to prime minister Modi – it will be a good news all round’. 

Lord Ranger hailed the appointment as a ‘great day for British democracy’ and said that Mr Cameron would bring ‘strength’ to international diplomacy and would improve the UK’s relationship with Europe ‘because he was a pro-European’. 

Spanish newspaper El País said that the former prime minister ‘will be forever remembered as the unwitting author of Brexit’, which US news site CNN said  ‘kick-started seven years of bitter, partisan politics among Conservatives over Brexit and, to some extent, the soul of the party’.

Italian news site La Stampa reported that Rishi Sunak’s decision to turn to his predecessor, ‘bringing him back as a life raft’, casts ‘serious doubt’ on his vow to deliver change within the Conservative Party. It added that this was Sunak’s ‘last chance’ to present a winning party against Keir Starmer’s Labour opposition. 

ABC Australia reported that while Suella braverman’s sacking was not unexpected, ‘what was unexpected was seeing David Cameron return to number 10 this morning’.

The news presenter said when Cameron stood down from government, which ‘many people thought was the last we’d see of David Cameron…but in a shock to many, he arrived outside number 10’s door this morning’. 

South African news channel SABC News covered the ‘rare’ decision to have a former prime minister take up a position in the cabinet – something which has not happened for over 50 years –  as well as being given a peerage.

The correspondent informed South African viewers that David Cameron, now Lord Cameron, will not be ‘answerable to the elected representatives’, which he said was ‘annoying some’ because they will be able to ask him questions during such a ‘crucial’ time for international affairs. 

ABC Australia reported that while Suella braverman's sacking was not unexpected, 'what was unexpected was seeing David Cameron return to number 10 this morning'

ABC Australia reported that while Suella braverman’s sacking was not unexpected, ‘what was unexpected was seeing David Cameron return to number 10 this morning’

Lord Ranger hailed the appointment as a 'great day for British democracy' and said that Mr Cameron would bring 'strength' to international diplomacy

Lord Ranger hailed the appointment as a ‘great day for British democracy’ and said that Mr Cameron would bring ‘strength’ to international diplomacy

Lord Ranger appeared on a panel on India' NDTV news channel which included former prime minister Boris Johnson's brother Jo Johnson, who is also a member of the House of Lords

Lord Ranger appeared on a panel on India’ NDTV news channel which included former prime minister Boris Johnson’s brother Jo Johnson, who is also a member of the House of Lords

MPs vented fury at the ‘astonishing’ overhaul by the PM in his big reset before the election, ousting Ms Braverman after a series of bitter clashes.

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

Mr Cameron has been handed Mr Cleverly’s old role. He received 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.

Just weeks ago Lord Cameron condemned Mr Sunak’s decision to downgrade the HS2 rail project. Incredulous Tory MPs, who deeply deeply distrust the peer after he headed the Remain campaign before quitting in 2016, 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.

South African news channel SABC News covered the 'rare' decision to have a former prime minister take up a position in the cabinet

South African news channel SABC News covered the ‘rare’ decision to have a former prime minister take up a position in the cabinet

The correspondent informed South African viewers that David Cameron, now Lord Cameron, will not be 'answerable to the elected representatives', which he said was 'annoying some'

The correspondent informed South African viewers that David Cameron, now Lord Cameron, will not be ‘answerable to the elected representatives’, which he said was ‘annoying some’

In a statement, 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.

Westminster was in shock as David Cameron emerged from an official car in Downing Street this morning to be made Foreign Secretary

Westminster was in shock as David Cameron emerged from an official car in Downing Street this morning to be made Foreign Secretary 

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

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.

Loyalist Ric Holden becomes Tory chair and Laura Trott, Lord Cameron’s former speechwriter, is the new Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Lord Cameron’s reappearance was a closely guarded secret that 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.

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 

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

Suella Braverman was sacked as Home Secretary by Rishi Sunak today

Suella Braverman was sacked as Home Secretary by Rishi Sunak today

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.’



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