“We are facing a daunting set of international challenges, including the war in Ukraine and the crisis in the Middle East. At this time of profound global change, it has rarely been more important for this country to stand by our allies, strengthen our partnerships and make sure our voice is heard,” he wrote.
“While I have been out of front-line politics for the last seven years, I hope that my experience – as Conservative leader for eleven years and prime minister for six – will assist me in helping the prime minister to meet these vital challenges.”
Braverman’s exit was less surprising. The government said Braverman had left her job as part of a cabinet shuffle. She was replaced by James Cleverly, who had been foreign secretary.
In a parting statement, Braverman said “it has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as home secretary,” adding that she would “have more to say in due course”.
Prominent right-wing lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg said sacking Braverman was “a mistake, because Suella understood what the British voter thought and was trying to do something about it”.
Sunak had been under growing pressure to fire Braverman — a hardliner popular with the authoritarian wing of the governing Conservative Party — from one of the most senior jobs in government, responsible for handling immigration and policing.
In a highly unusual attack on the police last week, Braverman said London’s police force was ignoring lawbreaking by “pro-Palestinian mobs”. She described demonstrators calling for a ceasefire in Gaza as “hate marchers.”
On Saturday, far-right protesters scuffled with police and tried to confront a large pro-Palestinian march by hundreds of thousands through the streets of London. Critics accused Braverman of helping to inflame tensions.
Last week Braverman wrote an article for The Times of London in which she said police “play favourites 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, as would usually be the case.
Braverman, a 43-year-old lawyer, has become a leader of the party’s populist wing by advocating ever-tougher curbs on migration and a war on human rights protections, liberal social values and what she has called the “tofu-eating wokerati”.
Last month she called migration a “hurricane” that would bring “millions more immigrants to these shores, uncontrolled and unmanageable.”
As home secretary Braverman championed the government’s stalled plan to send asylum-seekers who arrived in Britain in boats on a one-way trip to Rwanda. A UK Supreme Court ruling on whether the policy is legal is due on Wednesday.
Critics say Braverman has been building her profile to position herself for a party leadership contest that could come if the Conservatives lose power in an election expected next year.
The bold changes are an attempt by Sunak to reset his faltering government. The Conservatives have been in power for 13 years, but opinion polls for months have put them 15 to 20 points behind the opposition Labour Party amid a stagnating economy, persistently high inflation, an overstretched health care system and a wave of public sector strikes.
Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, said Cameron’s appointment “is a measure of the desperation that surrounds this government”.
“It’s difficult to believe that this is going to impress voters, whether they are convinced Brexiteers who despise David Cameron for being a remainer, or convinced remainers who despise David Cameron for holding and losing a referendum,” he said.
“On the upside, it’s a useful distraction from Braverman’s sacking, and as a former prime minister it will mean that the UK has rather more clout in international circles than perhaps might have been the case.”
AP with Reuters
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https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/uk-leader-fires-interior-minister-who-accused-police-of-favouring-pro-palestinian-protesters-20231113-p5ejpf.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world David Cameron makes surprise return to high office as foreign secretary