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A health minister has apologised for continuing a meeting despite discovering she had tested positive for Covid.

Gillian Keegan said she found out her result during a visit on Tuesday, after taking a “precautionary” lateral flow test beforehand.

She added she briefly continued her meeting, with a group of bereaved fathers, with their consent.

But she said “on reflection” this was “an error of judgment on my part”.

In a series of tweets, she wrote: “When I was told my test was positive, I was listening to three fathers who had tragically lost their daughters to suicide.

“I told them the result and took further precautions but with their consent, I stayed for a short period to hear their stories,” she said.

She added: “I should have immediately ended the meeting, and on reflection this was an error of judgment on my part.

“I fully recognise the importance of following the letter and spirit of the policies, so want to be upfront about what happened and to apologise for the mistake I made.”

Ms Keegan, the Conservative MP for Chichester, added that she was now isolating at home and “fortunately feel fine”.

First elected in 2017, she was made a care minister at the health department as part of Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle last September.

Guidance published on the NHS website says people should begin self-isolating “straight away” if they receive a positive Covid test result.

A spokesman for Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he had spoken to Ms Keegan, who “has taken responsibility for her actions and made a full apology”.

“He accepts her apology and continues to support her in her role,” the spokesman added.

On Tuesday Ms Keegan met Andy Airey, Mike Palmer and Tim Owen, who raised more than £500,000 during a 300-mile walk for suicide prevention charity Papyrus last year.

The trio were meeting ministers to discuss their campaign for suicide awareness to be added to the school curriculum.

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