Outgoing Home Secretary is perfect example of Tory intolerance and incompetence - Angus Robertson
Her screeching dogwhistle intervention on London demonstrations actually incited a right-wing hate mob to storm the Cenotaph. Having fanned the flames of division when calm leadership was called for, she also undermined the independence of the police in operational policing matters. What was already a difficult job for the Metropolitan Police was made impossible by the outgoing Home Secretary.
Suella Braverman is the perfect example of Tory intolerance and incompetence, a darling of the right-wing of the Conservative Party, known recently for her attacks on refugees and the homeless. Infamously, she said that she would love to see a front page of The Daily Telegraph report sending asylum seekers to Rwanda, and described it as her “dream” and “obsession”.
The hard-line Brexiteer was of course sacked previously as Home Secretary for breaching the Ministerial Code for leaking restricted material. Even that wasn’t enough for Rishi Sunak to stop bringing her back, which he did. Having made his own mess, he has been forced into a major reshuffle, moving Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to the Home Office and bringing former Prime Minister David Cameron out of retirement as his replacement.
In seven years the UK has had seven foreign secretaries, and Cameron will now represent the UK, and Scotland, from the unelected House of Lords. That means he will not have to answer to democratically elected parliamentarians at government statements or departmental questions. It is as unjustifiable as it is antiquated.
The Tories of course have form in appointing unelected people to the Lords to take up ministerial office. They’ve already done it many times for the Scotland Office with Andrew Dunlop, Ian Duncan, John Lamont and Malcolm Offord all made ministers, despite being rejected by the electorate or not even bothering to stand at all.
Already there are some hopes among Tories, that the appointment of David Cameron will help stave off general election defeat. He has opposed Conservative cuts to international aid, was of course an EU remainer and may appeal more to centrist voters. Cameron says that while he has disagreed with “some individual decisions” made by Sunak, he believes the PM is a strong and capable leader.
Sadly on the key international issue of the day, Gaza, Rishi Sunak has shown zero leadership so it’s unlikely that Cameron will do either. They are both incapable of supporting the United Nations secretary general and many others in seeking to secure a ceasefire.
Meanwhile at a UK level the Labour Party says it is the only alternative to the Tories – when they have shown themselves to be just as morally vacant. Imagine not even being able to bring yourself to agree with the UN Secretary General on the need for a ceasefire.
Parliamentarians will have the opportunity to vote in favour of a ceasefire in Gaza through an SNP amendment to the King’s Speech. Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar says he supports a ceasefire like First Minister Humza Yousaf, in which case his MPs will have to vote for the amendment to have any credibility. One thing’s for certain the new UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron won’t be voting in the House of Commons at all, he’ll be in the House of Lords.
Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary