The Hon. Dr. Keith Norman Briggs, MP (b. August 15, 1947) is a Georgeland politician. He a former Cabinet member, most recently as Minister for Defence in the government of Zoe Parker. Dr. Briggs represents the seat of Clarke-Wilson in the Georgeland House of Commons.
Briggs was born in August 1947 in Sevenoaks, Bradmarch. He was the son of a dentist; his father, James Briggs, died in 1952 leaving his mother Maise to raise him alone. Briggs attended a strict Anglican boarding school - later, he was to cite this as a primary cause of his homosexuality.
Briggs attended the University of Bradmarch from 1965 until 1968; he then attended Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He earned degrees in law and arts, and a Masters degree in political science. In 1974 he returned to Georgeland and began work as a lawyer, spending much of his time working towards a doctorate. He achieved a PhD in Socio-Political Theory in 1979.
Briggs was elected to the Bradmarch state legislature in 1985, as a Labour candidate. Though Briggs had what he described as a "classic Tory pedigree" (his father had been chairman of the Conservative Party's local branch), Briggs chose Labour because Labour had, in 1972, legalised homosexuality and instituted social reforms. Briggs described his views as influenced by his time exposed to the student protest movement while at university in both Georgeland and England.
In 1991, Briggs was elected to the Georgeland House of Commons for Clarke-Wilson. He has retained this seat at every election since.
Briggs was Shadow Minister for Education during Labour's short period in opposition in 1995.
Briggs was first made a Minister in 1995, when he was made Minister for Immigration in Campbell Rhodes's first government. He remained in this position for nine years, continuing in the job under Michael Elderton and through the labour split, before being made Minister for Health in 2004. He also took the position of Leader of the House of Commons; he later lost this position to Zoe Parker. In 2005, after his election win, Rhodes made Briggs Minister for Defence.
Briggs was re-elected at the 2007 election, but the government lost office. Briggs was not appointed to the Opposition Shadow Cabinet, preferring to remain a backbencher. He has strongly implied, but not announced, he will leave Parliament at the next election.
Briggs is considered one of the most intellectual members of Parliament, with an I.Q. estimated in the 190s. Briggs is known for his floury, long-winded speeches and his extensive vocabulary.
Briggs is from time to time touted as a potential party leader, but he rejects any such suggestions.
Briggs was a leading member of the Labour Party's right wing, and has continued in that role through the formation of the Liberal Democrats. He is still considered to be a leader of the party's right wing.
Dr. Briggs admits he became homosexual at boarding school, and has told interviewers (such as Nathan Kellerman that he was a frequent "backroom buggerer" and "toilet fag" throughout the 1960s, when homosexuality in Georgeland was still a crime. Briggs kept his sexuality a secret throughout the 1980s and early 1990s - he 'came out' in 1997, while a Minister. He is the first openly gay government Minister in the country's history. Briggs and his partner of twenty-six years live in Newport, Bradmarch.
Briggs is also a practicing Buddhist, having 'converted' to the religion in 1975. He is the first Buddhist Member of Parliament in Georgeland.