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Rishi’s dramatic reshuffle

WorldRishi’s dramatic reshuffle

Lord Cameron initially received a heartwarming welcome until some folks remembered his baggage: his involvement as an adviser, lobbyist and shareholder with the collapsed Greensill money lending bank.


Suella Braverman is notorious for her overtly right-wing oratory on illegal immigration, child protection from grooming gangs and most recently on policing; her choice of language has been described as inflammatory and/or divisive. Braverman wrote a piece for the Times newspaper that was critical of the Metropolitan Police’s handling of the Palestinian marches in London. Her piece did not conform with the government’s voice, hence, under the principle of collective responsibility, she was removed from her post as Home Secretary during a phone call with the Prime Minister. It seems contrition is not one of Braverman’s qualities and the above has fanned her sense of martyrdom. She followed up with a damning public letter to the Prime Minister revealing a deal made between them for her appointment as Secretary of State, in her letter she continues in the same tone using the exact same provocative language that expelled her. Braverman claims she swapped her support from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak in exchange for the realisation of some conservative pledges relating to legal immigration, illegal migrants, Northern Ireland and the Brexit Protocol, and sex education; these and what she calls the government’s failure to respond adequately to recent rising anti-Semitism and extremism are her justification for her outspokenness.

13/11/2023. London, United Kingdom. Foreign Secretary David Cameron poses for an official portrait at 10 Downing Street. Picture by Lauren Hurley / No 10 Downing Street

Braverman’s departure effectively moved James Cleverly to the position of Home Minister and Sunak took the media totally by surprise when he re-introduced David Cameron to Parliament, as a peer, as Foreign Secretary; a move that had been planned confidentially for some time and prior to the Times oped. Cameron, known fondly as DC, has years of experience, terrific international connections and engaging diplomatic skills, although many backbenchers are concerned how they will have an opportunity for scrutiny of DC’s decisions, given that peers are not permitted at the despatch box.

Currently, DC is only accountable to the Foreign Affairs Committee. James Cleverly is a more pragmatic and relaxed character than Braverman, the Home Ministry is often regarded as a poisoned chalice but it will put him in pole position for a leadership contest next year.
More generally, Lord Cameron initially received a heartwarming welcome until some folks remembered his baggage—his involvement as an adviser, lobbyist and shareholder with the collapsed Greensill money lending bank left him with egg on his face. Former PM Cameron’s foreign policy was a mixed bag—a remainer who revered membership with the EU, disastrous and failed interventions in Libya and Syria; and co-architect with former Chancellor George Osborne of the Golden Era with China, seemingly oblivious of the ambitions of Xi Jinping, a theme that reportedly has continued after his premiership. This appointment provides Cameron with an opportunity to reinvent his legacy, hearsay has it he would like to be remembered for resurrecting the Abraham Accords after Hamas is wiped out, a legacy akin to Tony Blair and the Good Friday Agreement that agreed peace between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
But Cameron is good news for India. Cameron was a committed supporter of India, visiting six times and taking the largest delegation of business and industry ever to India, hosting PM Modi at Wembley, and now meeting with Dr Jaishankar on his first day in office. Last week, UK added India to its list of safe states to accelerate the process of returning illegal entrants to their country of origin, illegal migrants from India will not be granted claim to asylum in the UK. Footnotes: Arguments presented by the ECHR led the UK Supreme Court to interpret that the government had broken the law by claiming that Rwanda was a safe country to relocate illegal migrants to. Rishi Sunak has responded that he will do what is necessary to implement his policy to send illegal migrants to Rwanda. This suggests he is prepared to amend international agreements to make this happen, which in turn could be a bitter pill for Lord Cameron to swallow.

13/11/2023. London, United Kingdom. Home Secretary James Cleverly poses for an official portrait at 10 Downing Street. Picture by Lauren Hurley / No 10 Downing Street

According to polling, Tory popularity has dropped this week to 19%-21% depending on the pollster, with Labour at 44% and the Reform Party (formerly UKIP) reaching double figures at 10%.

The Conservative Party remains divided into three factions: Rishi loyalists, right-wingers assembled under the New Conservatives led by Danny Kruger and Miriam Cates whose supporters include Priti Patel and Suella Braverman and whose aim is to implement the 2019 manifesto and prepare one for 2024, and last but not least the Michael Gove cohort operating under the radar as usual morphing the rest into the “New Liberals”.
With boundary changes and demographic consequences in many constituencies no seat in the 2024 General Election is as safe as it used to be.

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