Former British Prime Minister David Cameron made a surprise return Monday to the upper levels of his country’s government after current leader Rishi Sunak dismissed a Cabinet official who accused London’s police of ignoring lawbreaking by “pro-Palestinian mobs.”
Home Secretary Suella Braverman was ousted from her role and replaced by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly after the Times of London published an article Braverman wrote last week, when she said police “play favorites when it comes to protesters” and acted more leniently toward pro-Palestinian demonstrators and Black Lives Matter supporters than to right-wing protesters or soccer hooligans.
The article was not approved in advance by the prime minister’s office. Sunak, under fire from members of his own Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party – who argued that the article inflamed tensions between a pro-Palestinian and far-right counter protest in London on Saturday, resulting in nearly 150 arrests – then got rid of Braverman and appointed Cameron into Cleverly’s foreign secretary role, according to Reuters.
“It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as home secretary,” Braverman was quoted by The Associated Press as saying Monday, adding that she would “have more to say in due course.”
The news agency also reported that in the Times of London article, Braverman described demonstrators calling for a cease-fire in Gaza as “hate marchers.”
The government said Cameron will be appointed to Parliament’s unelected upper chamber, the House of Lords. The last foreign secretary to serve in the Lords, rather than the elected House of Commons, was Peter Carrington, who was part of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s government in the 1980s.
The U.K. government describes the home secretary position as the Cabinet official who is “legally accountable for national security and for the role that the police service plays in delivering any national response to policing issues that arise.
“The Home Secretary ultimately has to answer to Parliament and is responsible for making sure our communities, in all force areas, are kept safe and secure, and for protecting our national borders and security,” it adds.
Cameron, who opposed the “Brexit” campaign, previously resigned from his role as prime minister in September 2016.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.