David Cameron has been appointed foreign secretary by Rishi Sunak, in a shock move by the prime minister as he reshuffles his cabinet.
The former PM will be made a life peer in order to take up the role, Downing Street confirmed this morning.
The return of Cameron to government is a major surprise, not least because Sunak used his Conservative Party conference speech last month to criticise the last 30 years of British political leadership.
Just last month Cameron took a very public swipe at Sunak for scrapping HS2, accusing the PM of “heading in the wrong direction”.
In a statement following his appointment, Cameron said while he disagreed with some “individual” decisions made by Sunak, he believed the PM had shown “exemplary leadership”.
His appointment at the Foreign Office is likely also to unsettle many Tory MPs who believe China should be treated as more of a threat.
During his time in Downing Street, Cameron pushed for a “golden era” of trade relations between the UK and Beijing.
Cameron resigned as prime minister in June 2016 following the Brexit vote, having led the Remain campaign.
Sunak has allowed him to return to government despite being embroiled in the Greensill Capital lobbying scandal.
Pat McFadden, Labour’s national campaign co-ordinator, said: “A few weeks ago Rishi Sunak said David Cameron was part of a failed status quo, now he’s bringing him back as his life raft.
“This puts to bed the prime minister’s laughable claim to offer change from 13 years of Tory failure.”
Layla Moran, the Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesperson, said Cameron’s peerage should be blocked “given his shady past”.
Theresa May, who succeeded Cameron as prime minister, said: “His immense experience on the international stage will be invaluable at this time of great uncertainty in our world. Looking forward to working together again!”
Cameron said: “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.
“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.
“Though I may have disagreed with some individual decisions, it is clear to me that Rishi Sunak is a strong and capable prime minister, who is showing exemplary leadership at a difficult time.
“I want to help him to deliver the security and prosperity our country needs and be part of the strongest possible team that serves the United Kingdom and that can be presented to the country when the general election is held.”