British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has appointed former leader David Cameron as foreign minister in a reshuffle prompted by the firing of interior minister Suella Braverman. Braverman had criticized the police, which threatened Sunak’s authority. This move is seen as an attempt by Sunak to bring in a more centrist and experienced figure, rather than appeasing the populist right of his party that supported Braverman. However, Cameron’s appointment has reignited the divisive debate over Brexit, as he was disliked by many on the right of the party for campaigning to remain in the European Union. The reshuffle allowed Sunak to remove underperforming ministers and bring in allies. Braverman’s unauthorized article accusing the police of “double standards” at protests, particularly regarding pro-Palestinian demonstrations, forced Sunak’s hand in firing her. The opposition Labour Party criticized Braverman’s comments, which they believe inflamed tensions between different groups. Cameron’s appointment has caused shock within the party, with centrist lawmakers welcoming it but some on the right describing it as a “Brexit surrender.” Cameron expressed his support for Sunak’s leadership and highlighted the importance of standing by allies and making the country’s voice heard. Cameron, who has been out of politics since 2016, will return to government through an appointment to the House of Lords. Lawmakers in the centrist wing of the party believe Cameron’s appointment will bring international experience and send a broader message to the country. Some lawmakers had concerns that Braverman’s hardline focus on immigration and social issues was remaking the Conservatives as the “nasty party.” Cameron’s return has further angered some on the right, who believe the remain wing of the party has taken over. James Cleverly has been appointed as the new foreign minister, and his first challenge will be the Supreme Court ruling on the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda. With Braverman sidelined, there is speculation that she may focus on preparing for a future leadership race if the Conservatives lose the expected election next year. The Labour Party maintains a significant lead in the polls, and Sunak’s attempts to reduce the gap have been unsuccessful. Opposition lawmakers view Sunak’s decision to appoint Cameron as an act of desperation. Labour’s national campaign coordinator criticized Sunak for bringing back someone he previously described as part of a failed status quo. This move undermines Sunak’s claim to offer change from years of Tory failure.
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