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Index – Abroad – Rishi Sunak is grasping at the last straw to stay in power

Index – Abroad – Rishi Sunak is grasping at the last straw to stay in power

It’s been long planned, and thanks to Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s scandal last week, Rishi Sunak’s first real Cabinet reshuffle has finally taken place. The so-called feature of British politics The cabinet reshuffle has caused surprises ever since

While he replaces the hardline Braverman as Home Secretary, David Cameron, who resigned as Prime Minister in 2016, will return to government as Foreign Secretary.

As for Braverman, who is often contrasted with Sunak and has his own ambitions to become party leader, the bar has long been rocked by other scandals because, after all, he is one of the more recognizable faces in the party group and, like Boris Johnson, holds far-right views. Culturally and politically, Sunak has so far tolerated his home secretary’s behavior – partly seeing opportunity in him, which links Sunak, who could be classed as more moderate, with the party’s right wing.

As we wrote, not everyone was happy with his dismissal – according to Jacob Rees-Mogg, a hardline Brexiteer, given his departure, the party actually has no chance of winning the election, scheduled for January 2025 at the latest. Andrea Jenkins, a Johnson loyalist, went further Announceinitiates a motion of no confidence in the party’s president, so that he can finally become a “true Conservative leader” of the Conservative Party, also known as the Conservative Party.

At the same time, the British Prime Minister did not primarily want to favor the right wing of the party with the reorganization of the government, although he tried to open up to them by appointing, for example, Esther McVeigh, who has extensive experience in cultural policy issues. But it was the goal

Sun, who has served as prime minister for 13 months, can finally form a government in his image and try to entice the centrist Britons who have defected to the Labor Party.

This move can be seen in many of the new ministers: for example, Braverman’s position was given to James Cleverley, the former foreign secretary loyal to Sunak, but many young people who support Sunak also appear in the list of new ministers.

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But even more surprising is the unexpected appointment of David Cameron, who resigned in 2016 over the Brexit referendum and served as Prime Minister between 2010 and 2016, as Foreign Secretary, whose arrival could serve two purposes:

  • On the one hand, in a very geopolitically tense period, he brought back an experienced veteran, who already had experience negotiating with heads of government, and to whom he could entrust the entire British foreign policy, so that the Prime Minister could focus exclusively on domestic policy,
  • On the other hand, I would use Cameron as someone to address moderate British voters who have defected to the Labor Party since Johnson’s fall.

Tied 19 for Sun

Sunak has just announced a restructuring of his government for several reasons.

On the one hand, it is conceivable that the appointment was brought forward because of the scandal that arose as a result of Braverman’s writings – although it is also possible that Braverman decided to write the propaganda accusing the London police of pro-Palestinian bias, knowing that he would have to leave anyway. On the other hand, neither his new partial program announced in the summer, nor the image of a reformist that he announced at the annual conservative conference, which is culturally and politically similar to Trump’s rally, may be able to win back disillusioned voters.

The royal speech announcing his government’s legislative plan for the next 12 months was not a great success, so there was little political room for manoeuvre, so Sunak had a prime opportunity to bring about positive changes with his government in a short period of time, if not with his policy, at least on Level of novels. This is a government reshuffle that piques the interest of the media and the public – and it did so with Cameron, who has been back in politics since 2016.

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With the new list, he essentially indicated who the Conservatives would try to appeal to in the upcoming election campaign:

Sunak, who classically votes for the party but is disillusioned with it, favors an opening to the wealthy middle class.

While he hopes that with one or two cultural warriors, he will be able to retain low-income voters, who were brought to the party’s side on cultural policy issues during the 2016 Brexit referendum, and then during the historic election win. In 2019.

At the same time, this alone is not enough to achieve prosperity:

According to the average of opinion polls, the Conservative Party still trails Labor by 19 percentage points.

Moreover, the reshuffle is not a cure for the party’s existing problems, which are still there.

New government, old problems

With the fact that Sunak managed to remove from his cabinet people of his predecessors, Boris Johnson or Liz Truss – such as, for example, the previously mentioned Braverman, and the Minister for Environment Protection, Therese Coffey – whose positions were filled by centrists. – Centre-right politicians loyal to him, at least the government’s performance can be somewhat more balanced, as the Prime Minister does not have to explain himself because of the Minister’s statement.

But in doing so he also gained new critics within the party.

People associated with previous prime ministers were members of the government in order to appease different groups within the party, but this may stop with their departure. For example, the right-wing neoconservative group held a meeting on the evening of the formation of the government, and according to their announcement, they were almost dissatisfied with Sunak’s move, while Jenkins Johnson announced on Twitter that he would initiate no-confidence measures against party leader Sunak.

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Hence, it is highly questionable to what extent the government and back-line politicians who sometimes hold opposing views to the government will succeed in representing a unified position in the coming period and in the election campaign. then The extent to which they follow Sunakek’s communications, especially this one Many people on the right side of the party have already begun to position themselves subtly For the times after Sunak as potential party bosses.

In addition, by bringing Cameron, who had been criticized for his rhetoric at the time, back into politics, Sunak, who a month earlier had presented himself as a reformer, brought new problems upon himself.

On the one hand, Labour, preparing to govern, can easily draw a link between Sunak and all the mistakes made by the Conservative government over the past thirteen years, almost half of which Cameron was Prime Minister from the start. In addition, Keir Starmer, who turned Labor into a kind of third party for Tony Blair, became the candidate for renewal.

If Sun’s goal was to finally shape his government in his image, so that a calmer period could come in terms of dynamics and division of labor within the government, then he has partially achieved his goals – he had previously promised that he would win over voters. Trust with good governance.

However, he has managed to achieve all this at the cost of making the party’s division more apparent, and the question is whether Sun will be able to bring the different groups together to a common denominator: the angry rightists now see it. The right and extreme right, instead of the center, also discussed the possibility of winning the elections.

(Cover photo: Rishi Sunak outside 10 Downing Street on 13 November 2023. Image: Toby Melville/Reuters )