ITV has released a clip showing MP Gillian Keegan, the government’s education secretary, issuing a frustrated and passionate mini rant when she thought the cameras had stopped rolling.
In the clip, posted by ITV on Twitter this afternoon, Keegan is recorded on camera saying others ‘have been sat on their a***s’ on schools Raac crisis and shares frustration about not being thanked for doing ‘a f***ing good job’.
Her frustration appears to be aimed at the mainstream media’s general negative reporting relating to the Conservative government and other members of parliament, but also perhaps following being grilled herself by an ITV presenter.
Keegan has said that it was her experiences of trade unionism and the Militant-controlled Liverpool City Council while working in Kirkby in her youth during the 1980s that convinced her to support the Conservative Party. However, she did not become active in politics until 2014.
In 2015, she was advised to become an MP by Justine Greening, whom she met by chance at a London Business School (LBS) reunion; according to her, this demonstrated the power of the LBS network.
Keegan’s father-in-law was the late Conservative MP Denis Keegan. She unsuccessfully contested the constituency of St Helens South and Whiston at the 2015 general election. In 2015 she became director of Women2Win—an organisation founded by Theresa May and Anne Jenkin, Baroness Jenkin of Kennington in 2005 to help elect more women Conservative MPs to Parliament. She had left that position by September 2017.
Keegan was elected as a councillor for the Rogate ward on Chichester District Council in 2014. She was appointed cabinet member for commercial services in May 2015.
She stood down as a councillor in February 2018 and in the election that followed in April 2018, the seat was taken by the Liberal Democrat candidate Kate O’Kelly.
Keegan went on to beat O’Kelly by 21,490 votes at the 2019 general election.
Keegan was selected as the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Chichester in May 2017, and was elected to the House of Commons at the 2017 general election. She is the constituency’s first female MP.
In August 2020, Keegan was criticised for being on holiday during the GCSE and A-Level grading controversy. She defended herself by stating that she was not the minister responsible for A-Level and GCSE qualifications. She said that although she had been the duty minister for the first two weeks of summer recess, she had obtained special permission to take her government computer with her to continue working during this period.
Keegan endorsed Sunak for the second time in the October 2022 Conservative Party leadership election and was appointed Secretary of State for Education.