Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet reshuffle is all about “strengthening” his team – but what does it mean for LGBTQ+ rights?
One of the first major casualties of Sunak’s reshuffle is Suella Braverman. She was sacked as home secretary on Monday morning (13 November) after a series of controversial blunders.
Her sacking can only be seen as a good thing for LGBTQ+ people across the UK. During her time in the Home Office, she has firmly positioned herself as one of the government’s most vocally anti-trans, anti-migrant and anti-LGBTQ+ figures.
But Braverman’s sacking will only yield positive results for LGBTQ+ people if those who replace her represent a significant shift.
As Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet announcements roll in, we take a look at their track records on LGBTQ+ rights, from comments they’ve made about trans issues to their voting histories.
James Cleverly, home secretary
James Cleverly. (Getty)
Taking over as home secretary from Suella Braverman is James Cleverly, who formerly served as foreign secretary.
While Cleverly has never voted on same-sex marriage, he expressed his support for equality in a blog post first published in 2005 titled “I like marriage”.
“Gay ‘marriage’ takes nothing away from heterosexual marriage and while there will be some civil partnerships which are done for the wrong reasons the same can be said of straight marriage. Best of luck I say,” he wrote.
He has also expressed support for LGBTQ+ inclusive education and for LGBTQ+ people in the military – but he did face some criticism when he said gay football fans would have to be “respectful” when travelling to Qatar for the World Cup.
Even so, he’s an obvious step up from Suella Braverman.
David Cameron, foreign secretary
David Cameron. (Getty)
Here’s one nobody saw coming – David Cameron is set to make his political comeback after Rishi Sunak appointed him foreign secretary in his Cabinet reshuffle.
As a former prime minister, Cameron has a long voting record on LGBTQ+ rights. He voted in favour of civil partnerships in 2004 and in favour of the Equality Act in 2007, and later voted in favour of same-sex marriage.
Of course, most people will remember Cameron as the prime minister who led the UK through the Brexit vote and immediately resigned. Many would have assumed he would never hold a Cabinet position again, but Sunak has now brought him back into the mix.
Since he resigned as an MP, Cameron has been less vocal on LGBTQ+ rights, so it remains unclear if his views have shifted in the years since he was last in the political limelight.
Needless to say, Cameron’s appointment is already garnering plenty of criticism. Labour’s David Lammy described it as a “last gasp act of desperation” and characterised Cameron as an “unelected failure from the past”.
Cameron has not been an MP since 2016, but he can serve as a minister once more thanks to his appointment to the House of Lords as a life peer.
This is a developing story and will be updated as Cabinet announcements roll in.