Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron has been appointed Foreign Secretary — a senior ministerial role equivalent to Australia’s Foreign Minister.
The appointment formed part of a Cabinet reshuffle prompted by the sacking of Home Secretary Suella Braverman.
Cameron has not been a Member of Parliament since 2016. How can he join Cabinet?
The King appoints Cabinet ministers in the UK on the advice of the Prime Minister.
PM Rishi Sunak yesterday announced several changes to his Cabinet.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman was removed, replaced in her role by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. David Cameron was brought in to replace Cleverly as Foreign Secretary.
Ministers of the UK House of Commons (which functions similarly to the Australian House of Representatives) are usually elected members. However, this is not a formal requirement.
If a non-MP is chosen for a ministerial role, they are typically appointed to the House of Lords so they can be answerable to Parliament. The House of Lords is an unelected body with a minor role in law-making.
Cameron has accepted a ‘peerage’ (membership) of the House of Lords, giving him the title ‘Lord Cameron’.
Cameron became the leader of the Conservative Party in 2005 and Prime Minister in 2010.
In 2016, he resigned as PM following the ‘Brexit’ referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. As PM, it was Cameron’s decision to hold the referendum. He campaigned (unsuccessfully) to remain in the EU.
After resigning, Cameron quit politics altogether. In his 2019 memoir he expressed regret about the end of his political career.
In recent years, Cameron has faced criticism for his association with failed financial company Greensill Capital. It’s facing a criminal investigation for fraud after losing billions in investor funds.
The BBC reported Cameron accepted £8.2 million ($AU15.8 million) to promote Greensill and lobbied officials on its behalf as late as 2020, a year before its collapse.
Cameron denies any wrongdoing. There is no suggestion he is implicated in the fraud investigation.
Sacked Home Secretary Suella Braverman lost her job after publishing an ‘unauthorised’ opinion piece in The Times where she accused police of treating pro-Palestine protesters more favourably than far-right protesters. Policing is a responsibility of the Home Secretary.
Braverman has a history of controversial comments, including describing migrant arrivals as an “invasion” and a “hurricane”, and homelessness as a “lifestyle choice”.
The next UK election is due by January 2025 at the latest.
Sunak’s government is extremely unpopular. According to an opinion poll by YouGov last week, 23% plan to vote Conservative, compared to 47% for Labour and 30% for other parties.
This result is only slightly better than the peak of Conservative unpopularity during Liz Truss’s short tenure as PM. Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer are both personally unpopular with voters.