Cameron rules out No 10 return under any circumstances: Sunak has ‘phenomenal brain’

Lord Cameron has insisted there are no circumstances in which he would consider returning to No 10 as prime minister again.

The foreign secretary, who left No 10 in 2016 in the wake of the Brexit referendum having served as PM since 2010, said he was “very happy” in his current role.

Rishi Sunak is an “excellent boss”, he added. 

The prime minister has faced persistent speculation in recent months over his leadership, with the Conservative Party languishing in the opinion polls.

Asked under what circumstances he would consider returning as prime minister, Lord Cameron told Sky News: “None”

*** is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of UK politics. Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.***

“I am very happy to be working as foreign secretary”, he said.  

Lord Cameron became the foreign secretary as part of Rishi Sunak’s November 2023 cabinet reshuffle. His shock appointment makes him just the second former prime minister since the Second World War to return to cabinet.

His only post-war forebear is Alec Douglas-Home, prime minister from 1963 to 1964. Douglas-Home also became foreign secretary, serving under Edward Heath from 1970 to 1974.

Speaking this morning, Lord Cameron said: “Rishi is an excellent boss, he knows his own mind, he is always the best-briefed person in the room, he has got a phenomenal brain.

David Cameron references ‘friend’ Nick Clegg and takes swipe at Boris Johnson in maiden Lords speech

“And on issues like this actually he is a brilliant diplomat as well as a great leader so it is a pleasure to work for him.”

It isn’t the first time Cameron has appeared to rule out a return to Downing Street. 

Addressing the House of Lords for the first time following his appointment as foreign secretary last year, Lord Cameron quipped: “It was a surprise to be asked.

“I have not been sitting like some latter day de Gaulle … waiting to be asked, how should I put it, to ‘take back control’. Nor am I Cincinnatus, hovering over my plough”.

In a further reference to fellow former PM Boris Johnson, Lord Cameron then added: “I leave all classical allusions, and indeed illusions for that matter, to another former prime minister with whom I shared a number of educational experiences”.

Speaking this morning, Lord Cameron was conducting his first broadcast round as foreign secretary since his appointment. It came following Iran’s Saturday night strikes on Israel. 

Asked how he would fix the situation in the Middle East, Lord Cameron labelled Saturday night’s strikes a “double defeat” for Iran and “almost a total failure”.

He told Sky News: “In many ways this has been a double defeat for Iran. The attack was almost a total failure, and they’ve revealed to the world that they are the malign influence in the region prepared to do this”

“Our hope is there won’t be a retaliatory response,  and instead the world’s focus should shift to Hamas”

“They still hold those hostages”. is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of UK politics. Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.