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Education Secretary caught on camera swearing about coverage of schools concrete row

04 Sep 2023 3 minute read
UK Government Education Secretary Gillian Keegan – Image: Danny Lawson / PA

The Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan has been caught on camera voicing her frustrations about coverage of the crumbling concrete row.

In footage released by ITV News filmed as the camera repositioned for extra shots, Ms Keegan – still wearing her microphone – criticised others and claimed the UK Government had gone “over and above” in addressing concerns relating to reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac).

She said: “Does anyone ever say, you know what, you’ve done a f****** good job because everyone else has sat on their arse and done nothing?

“No signs of that, no?”

The Education Secretary took part in a series of broadcast interviews on Monday morning about the decision to fully or partially close schools in England because of safety concerns about Raac.

The Labour Party leader said ministers appeared to be attempting to “pass the buck” for school building closures caused by the concrete issue.

Sir Keir Starmer, asked by broadcasters in Westminster about Ms Keegan’s remarks, said: “I think this whole situation is descending into farce.

“The Government has dropped the ball here, failed to prepare.

“The Prime Minister bears responsibility for some of the key decisions along the way.

“And instead of coming out today and saying, ‘This is what we’re going to do to fix the problem, which we have made a lot worse’, you’ve got members of the Cabinet coming out trying to blame other people, trying to blame people within their own teams and to say, essentially, ‘Put responsibility anywhere but on the Government’.

“That is not what Britain deserves.

“And obviously what is now being said shows the extent to which there is this passing the buck within the Cabinet. Is Rishi Sunak strong enough to do anything about it? I doubt it.”


Asked whether Ms Keegan should remain in post following her unguarded comments, Sir Keir said that was the Prime Minister’s decision to make.

Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman Munira Wilson said: “Gillian Keegan’s disgraceful comments add insult to injury for parents who’ve seen their children’s return to school ruined by this concrete crisis.

“Expecting people to thank her when children are being taught in classrooms at risk of collapse shows Keegan must be living on another planet.

“The very least Keegan owes parents for her refusal to take responsibility for her shocking handling of this crisis and out-of-touch comments is an apology.

“She needs to bring herself before the nation and say sorry to the thousands of parents and children who have had their start to the school year wrecked on her watch.”

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Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
7 months ago

Is the crumbling concrete a synonym for the tory government?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

Lesson one kids: don’t do as I say, act, think or speak…

I might be the ‘Secretary of State for Education’ but I have no idea how to behave’

Scraped out of a barrel of rotting mackerel…

When are we going to see the back of these grotesque malignant performers in this vile pantomime noire…

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
7 months ago

‘Sat on their a**e and done nothing’ from the person who has mysteriously gone missing for the last few days? Really? When schools are at risk of collapse, stepping up to the microphone is what the Education Minister is paid to do. If she didn’t fancy it, she could have asked Fishi & Cruella to step in with a slogan like ‘STOP THE SCHOOLS’.

7 months ago

Gillian gets showed up as dunce of the day, and potty mouth to boot. That said this crumbly concrete farce has been a long time in the making. Bits of several NHS hospitals have been cracking and falling off for years. Good quality Opposition would have asked years ago – what about that cheap concrete in public buildings? However both parties have had turns in charge and turns on the touchline hurling abuse. Lesson from all this is the sooner we get out of their domain the safer we’ll all be.

7 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Probably taking lessons from Vaughan Gething, who is also guilty of speaking out of turn!!I Doesn’t Cardiff Bay have the responsibility for school and hospital buildings etc?

7 months ago

There is a trail of the Tory party incompetence and cuts including from the leadership, including the PM in his previous role dropping anything that was doing right for the schools, cut backs during austerity. And teachers saying they knew at the start of 2023, at least. You want his in charge of the UK any more? What else have they cut back.

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