How is David Cameron allowed to be the new foreign secretary?

How is David Cameron allowed to be the new foreign secretary?
David Cameron returns to UK government as foreign secretary
Spot on News - News English / VideoElephant

Upon his big return to plitics have quite understandably asked how David Cameron is suddenly the foreign secretary.

Usually, the big political jobs go to MPs, who were voted in at the last election.

Cameron, while a former prime minister, has not been an MP since he stepped down from his seat in 2016 after the Brexit referendum.

As it turns out, there is no hard-and-fast rule that ministers actually have to be MPs.

Margaret Thatcher appointed Lord Peter Carrington as her foreign secretary in 1979, and there have been others down the years.

But here's the tricky bit: David Cameron wasn't a Lord until this morning.

Rishi Sunak pushed through the appointment of Cameron – or Lord Cameron – through so that he could take the job.

There is usually a vetting process for people put forward for a seat in the Lords in an honours list.

But if a prime minister wants to push the title through so they can take a job in government, the same rules don't apply.

Cameron will be given a Barony and appointed to the House of Lords, according to statements from Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.

The Palace said: "The King has been pleased to approve the appointment of the Rt Hon David Cameron as Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.

"His Majesty has also been pleased to confer the dignity of a Barony of the United Kingdom for life upon David Cameron. The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP remains as Chancellor of the Exchequer."

Not everyone was pleased though. Labour's shadow foreign secretary David Lammy said of his new Tory counterpart: "David Cameron was a disastrous PM. This is a last gasp act of desperation from a government devoid of talent and ideas.

"Amid international crisis, Sunak has chosen an unelected failure from the past who MPs cannot even hold to account. Only Labour offers the change we need."

It’s worth pointing out one other thing: even when it’s been hastily pushed through so you can take a job, the title still applies for the rest of your life.

Pretty sweet gig for some, eh?

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