Cameron, David


Lord Cameron is the foreign secretary, having been appointed to the role in Rishi Sunak’s November 2023 cabinet reshuffle. He replaced James Cleverly in the post, who was moved to the Home Office after Suella Braverman was sacked.

In order to take up the post, David Cameron was made Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton by King Charles III on the request of the government.

Why David Cameron is back

Cameron’s shock appointment made him just the second former prime minister since the second world war to return to cabinet.

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

Cameron served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 2010 to 2016. 

He led Britain’s first Coalition Government for 70 years and, following the 2015 General Election, formed the first Conservative majority Government for over two decades.

Addressing the House of Lords for the first time following his appointment as foreign secretary in November 2023, 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 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”.


Prime Minister

Following the 2010 General Election and the resulting Hung Parliament, Cameron entered into negotiations with Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats. A formal coalition government resulted, with Cameron as Prime Minister and Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister.

The coalition government was marked by the ongoing effects of the financial crisis; Cameron responding with austerity policies designed to rebalance the nation’s finances. In his premiership, Cameron also enforced stricter immigration policies, oversaw the 2012 London Olympics, privatised Royal Mail and legalised same-sex marriage in England and Wales.

In 2011, Cameron held a referendum on replacing First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) with the ‘Alternative vote’ (AV) – a product of the coalition agreements. Cameron backed FPTP while Clegg supported the switch to AV. Cameron’s side of the argument won decisively. 

In 2014, Cameron announced the holding of another referendum on Scottish Independence. Again, Cameron backed the ‘No’ argument. And, again, he won. 

Cameron’s Conservatives secured a majority in the 2015 General Election and he continued in Downing Street. To fulfil a manifesto pledge, Cameron announced a referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union to be held in 2016. 

Cameron supported continued membership, but this time his winning run in referendums came to an end. Cameronresigned as PM the morning after the Brexit result was announced.

What is David Cameron doing now?

David Cameron stood down as a Member of Parliament in 2016 very soon after resigning as Prime Minister.  Cameroninitially maintained a low-profile after leaving Downing Street and during the subsequent Brexit negotiations. 

While stating that he did not regret calling the 2016 referendum, he has told The Times it had left him ‘hugely depressed’ and understands that ‘some people will never forgive me’. 

In 2016, Cameron became Chairman of Patrons at National Citizen Service (NCS), a youth development programme. He is also President of Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Further to these roles, Cameron advised a number of international businesses – concentrating on innovative technology-driven sectors, including Fin-Tech, Medi-Tech and Artificial Intelligence.

In March 2021, it was revealed that Cameron was employed by Greensill Capital, a firm that has subsequently collapsed. It was reported that Mr Cameron sent several texts to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and held a number of virtual meetings with permanent secretaries in Whitehall to try and secure coronavirus support payments for Greensill.  

Cameron, who following the 2009 controversy around MPs expense claims, had mused that lobbying would be the next big political scandal, was now himself in a lobbying furore.

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

Political career

Cameron was first elected the Conservative MP for the rural constituency of Witney in West Oxfordshire in 2001. From 2001-2003, Cameron was a member of the influential House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee. He then occupied a number of shadow Cabinet jobs. After the 2005 General Election, he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills.

When Michael Howard announced his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party following Labour’s third consecutive General Election victory in 2005, Cameron declared his candidacy in the subsequent leadership election. Some of his high-profile supporters included Boris Johnson, George Osbourne, Michael Ancram, Oliver Letwin and former party leader William Hague. 

Cameron beat David Davis to claim the Conservative party’s leadership. He then worked to modernise the party, setting it on its path to government.

Rishi Sunak asked to name David Cameron’s ‘finest foreign policy achievement’

Before politics

David Cameron was born on 9th October 1966. He was educated at Eton College and Brasenose College at Oxford University.

Before becoming an MP, Cameron worked as a Special Adviser in government, first to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont and then to the Home Secretary Michael Howard. Afterwards he spent several years at Carlton Communications, one of the UK’s leading media companies, and served on the management Board.

Personal life

Cameron and his wife, Samantha, have three children: Nancy, Elwen, and Florence. In 2009, their eldest child, Ivan, who suffered with a combination of cerebral palsy and a form of severe epilepsy called Ohtahara Syndrome, died aged six.

Contact details

Twitter – @David_Cameron

Facebook –

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