UK

Sunak stresses ‘united team’ following dramatic reshuffle

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron during a meeting of the new-look Cabinet (Kin Cheung/PA)
Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron during a meeting of the new-look Cabinet (Kin Cheung/PA) Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron during a meeting of the new-look Cabinet (Kin Cheung/PA)

Rishi Sunak hailed his “strong and united team” at his first Cabinet meeting following the dramatic reshuffle that saw Lord David Cameron appointed Foreign Secretary and Suella Braverman sacked.

The reshuffle, which has angered some on the Tory right, has seen Sunak loyalists appointed to senior posts as the Prime Minister bids to revive his electoral fortunes.

Surrounded by a new-look Cabinet following the sacking of Mrs Braverman, Mr Sunak promised “big, bold decisions that will drive change”.

With Lord Cameron attending his first Cabinet since his resignation as Prime Minister in 2016, Mr Sunak offered a “warm welcome to those for whom it’s their first Cabinet and also a welcome to those for whom it may not be their first time”.

Cabinet Meeting
Cabinet Meeting Prime Minister Rishi Sunak chairs the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (Kin Cheung/PA)

He said: “Our purpose is nothing less than to make the long-term decisions that are going to change our country for the better.

“I know that this strong and united team is going to deliver that change for everybody.”

The Prime Minister faces a crunch week ahead, with new inflation figures and the Supreme Court’s Rwanda ruling expected on Wednesday.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will also deliver his autumn statement next week.

The ruling by top judges on the landmark policy to “stop the boats” crossing the Channel will be a key moment in Mr Sunak’s premiership.

The ousted Mrs Braverman, a vocal champion for the scheme who warned on Monday she will have “more to say in due course”, could add to pressure by championing leaving the European Court of Human Rights if the Government loses the appeal.

The reshuffle is designed to prepare the Tories for the next general election, but it has also risked inflaming the rift in the Conservative Party.

Former minister Dame Andrea Jenkyns submitted a furious letter of no confidence in Mr Sunak to the Tory backbench 1922 Committee as a result of the decision.

Deputy Tory chairman Lee Anderson was among hardline MPs at a Commons meeting where concerns were shared about Mrs Braverman’s ousting after she accused the police of bias.

New party chair Richard Holden sought to play down tensions on Tuesday, stressing the need to focus on the Labour opposition and pitching his party as a “broad church”.

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron
Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron during a meeting of the new-look Cabinet (Kin Cheung/PA)

“What we don’t do is have small splinter parties ahead of a general election and then a deal cooked up behind the scenes,” he said.

“What you see is a broad church, Conservative Party with a common goal, united together in what it is deciding to put forward to the country.”

Mr Holden, elected in 2019 for the so-called red wall seat of North West Durham, replaced Greg Hands following a string of by-election losses and a mauling in council contests during his nine months in charge.