Cameron made his debut in the upper chamber as both Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton and foreign secretary as he introduced a new overseas trade bill.
In his address, Cameron referenced his “friend” Nick Clegg and “my now infamous shepherd’s hut”.
He told fellow peers it was “a surprise to be asked” by Rishi Sunak to make a return to frontline politics, alluding to how he was not French president Charles de Gaulle coming back from his country retreat to deal with the 1968 Paris riots.
Lord Cameron went on: “Nor am I Cincinnatus, hovering over my plough. I leave all classical allusions – and illusions, for that matter – to another former prime minister with whom I shared a number of educational experiences.”
It’s a clear reference to his Oxford university contemporary and Johnson’s Downing Street farewell address after effectively being ousted as prime minister last year, when he said: “And, like Cincinnatus, I am returning to my plough.”
The 5th Century BC Roman politician left the city to take up retirement, only to return when it was threatened with military invasion. Many took the reference to mean Johnson would one day make a comeback.
Cameron was introduced to the Lords on Monday, a move that allows him to take up a place in Sunak’s cabinet as he has not been an MP since 2016.