Sext MP’s ex loses her job in PM’s office

A SENIOR adviser to the Prime Minister has lost her job after she exposed on social­ media that her boyfriend - a NSW state minister - had sent explicit messages to ­another Liberal MP.

Highly respected and experienced­ Coalition staffer Caitlin Keage has resigned from the Prime Minister's office­ amid a tumultuous fallout after publicly posting that her then-boyfriend, Fair Trading Minister Matt Kean had sext­ed backbench NSW MP Eleni Petinos.

Caitlin Keage and her then-minister boyfriend Matt Kean. Picture: Facebook
Caitlin Keage and her then-minister boyfriend Matt Kean. Picture: Facebook

Asked whether Ms Keage had been asked to leave, a spokesman for Malcolm­ Turnbull said she no longer worked for the Prime Minister. Ms Keage would not comment yesterday.

Ms Keage took leave after the events on February­ 22 and it is understood during this time she was encouraged to resign.

Miranda MP Eleni Petinos. Picture: Facebook
Miranda MP Eleni Petinos. Picture: Facebook

On the same night that she posted the text messages to social media and accused her boyfriend of cheating, Ms Keage later deleted the post from her Instagram account­ - but not before it had been widely circulated through NSW and federal political circles.

Premier Gladys­ Berejiklian said she was "personally disappointed" by Mr Kean but that it would not affect­ his ministerial duties.

A Picture from Caitlin Keage’s Facebook page with her ex Matt Kean.
A Picture from Caitlin Keage’s Facebook page with her ex Matt Kean.

Mr Kean is considered among senior Liberal politicians a rising star in the party.

He is viewed as a talented minister who works hard and has forged a close relationship with Ms Berejiklian.

Mr Kean’s texting exchange with Ms Petinos was revealed by the Daily Telegraph Picture Facebook
Mr Kean’s texting exchange with Ms Petinos was revealed by the Daily Telegraph Picture Facebook

Ms Keage too is highly respected­, having worked for the federal Coalition since 2010 in both media and policy­ roles. She has also been dedicated­ to the Liberal Party, having served on the state executive in South Australia.

Ms Keage has worked for Christopher Pyne, Simon Birmingham­ and Prime Minister­ Malcolm Turnbull. She is ­respected in both press gallery and ministerial circles.

There was also once speculation she would run for the federal South Australian seat of Boothby before Nicole Flint won the nomination.

It is understood Ms Keage is moving home to South Australia after a tumultuous 11 days.

A political strategist said that Ms Keage's position ­became untenable after her online post - which may have been considered to be a gross misuse of social media. Other Coalition sources, however, stressed that it would be a bad look for Ms Keage to be fired.

Miranda MP Eleni Petinos Picture Facebook
Miranda MP Eleni Petinos Picture Facebook

When news of Ms Keage's Instagram post broke, Mr Kean said: "I am deeply sorry my relationship with Caitlin has ended in such a spectacular and sad fashion."

Ms Petinos denied any wrongdoing or cheating and said: "I am saddened that I have been drawn into this relationship breakdown."

Mr Pyne at the time described the situation as "very sad".


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