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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appointed David Cameron as the country’s new foreign secretary Monday, in a shock comeback for the former prime minister remembered for introducing the 2016 referendum that led to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, Politico reported.
Cameron’s appointment is part of a government reshuffle, as Sunak tries to reassert his authority within the Conservative Party amid slipping popularity in opinion polls.
The former prime minister, who resigned shortly after losing the Brexit referendum and later quit his post as a lawmaker, will become a life peer in the upper house of parliament in order to take up the government role.
His appointment shook the country’s political landscape, with the main opposition Labour Party accusing Sunak of using Cameron as a “life raft.”
Sunak and Cameron had campaigned on opposite sides of the Brexit referendum and have clashed in recent years over policies.
Following his appointment, Cameron said the UK was facing a “daunting set of international challenges” amid ongoing wars in Ukraine and the Middle East.
He called Sunak “a strong and capable prime minister,” adding that he wants “to help him to deliver the security and prosperity our country needs.”
Meanwhile, the government reshuffle also saw the exit of Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who was recently embroiled in a controversy over accusing London’s police of political bias, according to CNBC.
Braverman has come under fire in recent weeks over her stance in the Israeli-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip, including referring to the pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the capital as “hate marches.”
Last week, she published an op-ed in The Times newspaper that alleged that police treated pro-Palestinian protesters more favorably than nationalists and the far-right.
The article was not approved by the government. Meanwhile, Braverman was also criticized for saying the protests were “disturbingly reminiscent” of past scenes in Northern Ireland.
The UK has endorsed Israel’s right to self-defense following Hamas’ surprise attack early last month. Sunak has supported calls for a humanitarian pause in Israel’s retaliatory bombardments in Gaza.
Braverman is being replaced by James Cleverly, who has served as foreign secretary under Sunak.