Gillian Keegan recorded saying others 'have been sat on their a***s' on school Raac crisis

The education secretary has been recorded on camera suggesting others "have been sat on their a***s" over the school Raac crisis, while saying the government should be thanked for their response.

As part of a morning round of interviews, Gillian Keegan was speaking to ITV News as it was confirmed there could potentially be hundreds more schools affected by the crisis.

In the moments after the main body of the interview had finished, and as the camera repositioned for extra shots, Keegan - still wearing her microphone - criticised others and claimed the government has gone "over and above" in addressing concerns relating to reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac).

"Does anyone ever say, you know what, you've done a f***ing good job because everyone else has sat on their a**** and done nothing," Ms Keegan said.

She added: "Any sign of that, no?"

The Education Secretary was forced to apologise, after an extraordinary foul-mouthed outburst to ITV News, Dan Hewitt reports

Ms Keegan later apologised for the rant, describing her comments as "off the cuff" and "unnecessary".

In an interview with broadcasters on Monday afternoon, Ms Keegan insisted she wasn't referring to anyone in particular when she complained about people having "sat on their a***s" while the problems with unsafe Raac were being uncovered.

It was an off the cuff remark after the interviewer had pressed her quite hard, she added.

'I'd like to apologise for my choice language. That was unnecessary', says Education Secretary Gillian Keegan

Responding to Ms Keegan's comments, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "Frankly, to see Cabinet members coming out today on an issue of such importance to our children and families, and simply try to blame anyone but themselves, including other members in their team, is to see farce now in this situation.

"Rishi Sunak needs to act. Will he have the strength to act? I doubt it."

Meanwhile, Stephen Morgan, Labour’s Shadow Schools Minister, said: "This is a staggering admission that Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives have done nothing to address a problem that they have known about for years.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer urges the prime minister to act after controversial comments were made by the Education Secretary Gillian Keegan

"The Education Secretary has displayed staggering arrogance for saying she deserves a pat on the back for the chaos that is gripping our schools on their watch.

"Families, school leaders and school staff deserve an immediate apology for these appalling comments.”

Watch ITV News' Dan Hewitt full interview with Gillian Keegan here.

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