Former British prime minister David Cameron, who called Brexit vote, returns as foreign minister

Europe  Suzanne PlunkettReuters
NOV 13, 2023 LISTEN
© Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

Britain's current prime minister has appointed former Prime Minister David Cameron as foreign secretary during a cabinet reshuffle. Cameron, who called the 2016 Brexit referendum that ended up pulling the UK out of the European Union, will be responsible for relations with Europe, among other parts of his portfolio.

In a surprise appointment, Cameron was named foreign secretary after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sacked hard-line Interior Minister Suella Braverman and replaced her with foreign secretary James Cleverly, in his first cabinet reshuffle since taking office last October.

Cameron said he hoped his experience as prime minister from 2010 to 2016 would help him deal with current challenges internationally.

"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,” he said in a statement published on X after his appointment.

Cameron, who resigned the day after the referendum that ended Britain's membership with the European Union, has spent the seven years since writing his memoirs and pursuing business interests.

Sunak's ruling Conservative Party is lagging behind the Labour party ahead of an election expected next year.

Cameron's return, and Braverman's removal, angered some on the right of the party, though more centrist Tories welcomed Cameron's appointment, saying his international experience will help steady the ship.

(with newswires)