‘Back to the future’: how the papers covered the return of David Cameron

The return of former PM David Cameron to government as foreign secretary has evoked surprise for many, shock for some, and anger among MPs on the right of the Tory party. The British papers reflect the full spectrum of reactions.

The Guardian says: “Cameron’s shock return in high-stakes reshuffle”, noting that the political comeback for the now Lord Cameron marks a return to a more centrist team for Rishi Sunak, particularly given the sacking of Suella Braverman as home secretary.

The Times says Cameron, who served as prime minister from 2010 to 2016, has been brought “back from the wilderness” and uses a large picture of him smiling. It says Cameron has become the first former PM in more than 50 years to return to frontline politics.

The Telegraph looks to the reaction on the right of the Tory party, with the headline: “Cameron’s return sparks Brexiteer backlash”. It reports on Dame Andrea Jenkyns sending a letter of no confidence in Sunak after what she called a “purge” of the centre-right from his cabinet.

The Mirror frames the appointment as a sign of desperation in the Sunak camp amid the Tories’ dismal election hopes. The strapline and headline read: “Same old Tories (literally): Back where we began”, and focuses on his legacy of the politics of austerity.

The Express considers what the fate of “red wall” Tories – those occupying former Labour-voting seats in northern England and the Midlands – will be. The headline is “Shock and awe! Cameron back … but who will speak up for Red Wall?” It reports that the prime minister’s reshuffle has “unleashed furious accusations that Rishi Sunak has given up on the Red Wall”.

The Daily Mail says “Rishi’s big throw of the dice”, highlighting the risks the prime minister was taking in angering the right of the party. It gives similar weighting to Cameron and the appointment of Esther McVey as a “new ‘Common Sense Minister’ to combat wokery”.

The Financial Times says “Cameron returns to front line after Braverman sacking sparks reshuffle”, and notes the looming clash with the Tory right.

The Sun has a wry headline with “Recall me Dave”, in an apparent reference to an unauthorised biography of Cameron. It says some on the Tory right will not have forgiven him for backing remain during Brexit campaigning.

The i paper says “Back to the future: PM gambles on return of David Cameron”. It says Cameron will offer the younger PM Sunak advice in the run-up to next year’s election.

City AM goes with “Cam back kid”, saying Sunak’s move is an appeal to more centrist voters.

The Northern Echo and the Scotsman join others in opting for the gambling nature of the PM’s move. They say “Sunak’s last roll of the dice” and “Sunak’s great gamble” respectively.

The Daily Record has harsh words for Cameron, saying “The buffoon that brought you Brexit is back”.


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