NATIONAL readers may have felt exhausted reading this week’s news.

It was a fair shift covering it. We were welcomed into Monday morning with the news that David Cameron – yes, that David Cameron – had been spotted going into No 10 after Suella Braverman was sacked.

Political hacks speculated Call Me Dave was only going in for a quick cuppa and to grab a cable he’d left in the loft. They were wrong. He emerged not only as Foreign Secretary but also as a peer of the realm.

There are many serious questions about the former prime minister’s suitability for the role. On a purely practical level, he cannot answer questions from MPs face to face unless they schedule a committee appointment with him. He will fend Foreign Office questions in the Lords, while his deputy Andrew Mitchell faces the baying hounds of the Commons.

Some have argued this is actually a better set-up for scrutiny as the Lords contains one former head of MI5 and a bagful of former diplomats and military chiefs who know more about foreign policy than a lowly MP.

Perhaps, but democratic it ain’t.

There is also the small matter of Cameron’s links to China and his role in the Greensill Capital lobbying scandal. We’re sure more will come of those two stories in time.

For now though, Rishi Sunak seems happy with his choices. He has bagged Suella Braverman for actually passing the threshold of being too cruel and useless to be home secretary and got in someone he looks up to, for some reason. (Make your own height jokes.)

The National: Suella Braverman

Enter James Cleverly, the man who will send asylum seekers to Rwanda – despite accusations he privately thinks the plan is “batshit”.

It would be a rare point of agreement between Cleverly and The National were it true – but Sunak wanted to show he was giving no quarter to the courts on Wednesday when he announced his plan to get around their block earlier that day.

Tory right-wingers wanted the PM to announce emergency legislation, they got assurances to that effect. They also wanted him to say he’d tear up international agreements and challenge European human rights judges if they attempted to further block flights. They also got that.

Few around Westminster will give you desirable odds on the chances of a flight ever actually going to Rwanda – unless it’s an Arsenal comp (sponsored by the country’s tourism board) for Labour leader Keir Starmer.

The National: Keir Starmer

He’s had his share of headaches this week. Councillors have continued to quit the party in the run-up to a crunch vote on the Israel-Hamas war in the Commons on Wednesday.

Labour MPs were whipped to back their party’s motion which fell short of calling for a ceasefire in Gaza – and to abstain on the SNP’s ceasefire motion.

A tide of Labour MPs – 56 in total, though not including the two Scottish MPs – defied Starmer and voted with the SNP. He also lost 10 members of his frontbench – most notably Birmingham MP Jess Phillips.

A bruising night for Starmer which he saw off with a trip to Scotland where he visited a distillery – for a photo-op which saw him committing the cardinal sin of calling whisky “Scotch” – then later to Aberdeen.

It could be a sign Labour may want to base their proposed Great British Energy company in the city, it would seem an obvious choice, though party insiders have steered reporters away from that.  

On Thursday Lisa Nandy raised some eyebrows when she questioned “how far and when” international law applied in the war between Israel and Hamas.

For political obsessives, next week should promise more fireworks with Jeremy Hunt’s Budget – rumours about the Chancellor could throw the super-rich a major sop in the form of an inheritance tax cut – and movement on how exactly the Government hope to circumvent the Rwanda judgment. 

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