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Gillian Keegan: Education secretary defends going on holiday despite concrete panel failings emerging last month

The education secretary has been under fire after a clip emerged of her swearing about criticism to her handling of the unsafe concrete crisis.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan has defended being on holiday during the summer while further evidence of the use of unsafe concrete in buildings came to light.

Ms Keegan was on holiday in Spain from 25 August to 31 August when she admitted that three new cases of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) emerged – one in a commercial building, one in an education “setting” and one in a school in England.

She has been at the forefront of the RAAC crisis that is unfolding in schools in England, where more than 104 schools have been ordered to close or partially close because of the concrete – which is prone to collapse after a period of time.

The issue has caused disruption for thousands of pupils just as they go back to school following the summer holidays.

Earlier today Ms Keegan apologised for her “choice language” after she was caught complaining about not being thanked for doing a “f***ing good job” over the crisis.

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The interview with ITV News was played back to Ms Keegan when she appeared as a guest on Sky News’ new Politics Hub show with Sophy Ridge this evening.

Challenged by presenter Sophy Ridge about whether it was a “mistake” to go on holiday, Ms Keegan replied: “To be honest, for the whole of the summer, obviously I had to sort out industrial action, then I had to do A-Levels and I had to the GCSEs – so the first time I could go on holiday…”

Ridge interjected: “So we should feel sorry for you?”

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