Rishi Sunak has welcomed a “strong and united” cabinet to its first meeting following the sacking of Suella Braverman as home secretary yesterday.
Lord David Cameron, the newly appointed foreign secretary, was a shock return to government, and this morning sat in a cabinet meeting for the first time since he resigned as prime minister in 2016.
Speaking to the cabinet in front of cameras, Mr Sunak welcomed those “for whom it’s their first cabinet”.
And in a quip on Lord Cameron‘s behalf, he added a welcome “to those for whom it may not be their first time”.
In what seemed like a pointed remark at Ms Braverman – who lost her job yesterday after questioning the police and saying living in a tent on the streets was a “lifestyle” choice – Mr Sunak said he knew “this strong and united team is going to deliver” the changes for the country that the government is aiming at.
Mr Sunak said it was an “important week”, with inflation figures and the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Rwanda deportation scheme due on Wednesday, followed by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement next Wednesday.
“Across all of that I’m confident that we can demonstrate to the country that we’re making progress on the priorities that I set out at the beginning of the year – to halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut waiting lists and to stop the boats,” he said.
Touching on what will be Lord Cameron’s portfolio, the prime minister added: “We want to build a better future for our children and for our grandchildren and that is what this team is going to do, whether it’s navigating the crises in Ukraine, the Middle East, to demonstrate we will stand up for our values and provide security for everyone here at home.
“But also to make the big, bold decisions that will drive change.”
He also spoke of a “new approach” to infrastructure spending – which follows the prime minister’s decision to scrap the northern leg of HS2, a move criticised by Lord Cameron at the time.
Mr Sunak also repeated his plans for a generation of children to “grow up smoke-free”, as well as his changed approach to net zero and reforms to the education system.
“That’s the change that we’re going to deliver.
“And looking around this table, I know that we have an energetic, enthusiastic team that is going to deliver for the country. So let’s get to work.”
After the cameras left, the new government continued its meeting behind closed doors.