Gillian Keegan- the Huyton woman who's rising in the ranks of the Tory party - Liverpool Echo

She grew up in an area where the Tories got just 9% of the vote at the last General Election.

The Tory's latest rising star hails from Huyton, a most unlikely breeding ground given the party got just 9% of the vote there at the last General Election.

Growing up in Merseyside, Gillian Keegan told The Telegraph it was her experience of the Militant-controlled Liverpool City Council that convinced her to buck the local trend and support the Conservatives.

Ms Keegan is not your average Oxbridge-educated Tory . After attending St Augustine of Canterbury Secondary School (since renamed St Thomas Becket) in Huyton , she started her career aged 16 as an apprentice at a car factory in Kirkby .

She went on to get a bachelor's degree in Business Studies from Liverpool John Moores University and a Masters in Strategy and Leadership from London Business School (LBS) in 2011.

Ms Keegan did not enter politics until recently, using her Masters from LBS to kick-start a business career in General Motors, Nat West and MasterCard among others. It was a career she pursued for 27 years before moving into politics.

In 2014, Ms Keegan ventured into politics for the first time, winning a seat on Chichester District Council, before unsuccessfully contesting the Merseyside seat of St Helens South and Whiston for the Tories in the 2015 General Election.

Not to be perturbed by this setback, Ms Keegan stayed in politics and became the director of Women2Win- an organisation founded by Theresa May and Baroness Anne Jenkin in 2005 to help elect more women Conservative MPs to Parliament.

She then got elected to Parliament in 2017 in the constituency of Chichester and has risen quickly through the ranks since.

Three months after the 2017 General Election , she was appointed to the influential Public Accounts Committee, before going into a number of Parliamentary private secretary (PPS) roles.

These positions are highly important, as they give Ms Keegan the ear of some of the most powerful ministers in government. Ms Keegan is currently Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock's PPS.

She is seen as part of the liberal-wing of the Tory Party and endorsed the now Independent Rory Stewart during the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election.

Perhaps inadvertently bolstering her liberal credentials, Ms Keegan is the godmother of two of former-Speaker John Bercow's children. Elected as a Tory MP, Mr Bercow has since become the scourge of much of the Conservative Party over his perceived influence on the Brexit process in Parliament.

Despite this liberal perception of Ms Keegan, she is not one of the Remainer rebels in the Conservative Party and has voted for each and every Brexit deal put to Parliament.

If her stock continues to rise, Ms Keegan could supplant Esther McVey as the most senior Tory Scouser in the country.

Link: https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/gillian-keegan-huyt…