Carwyn Jones: I did nothing wrong over death of Carl Sargeant

Posted On: 
9th November 2017

Carwyn Jones has insisted he did everything "by the book" in the circumstances which lead to the death of former Welsh minister Carl Sargeant.

Carl Sargeant was found dead at his home on Tuesday.
PA Images

The Labour politician was found dead at his home on Tuesday, just four days after the Welsh first minister sacked him from his cabinet.

That came in the wake of unspecified allegations which were made against him.

Dawn Butler retracts call for probe into Labour's handling of Carl Sargeant case

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Mr Jones has come in for intense criticism, and Mr Sargeant's family have accused Labour of denying him "natural justice" by withholding information about the accusations he faced.

In a statement today, the first minister said these were "the darkest days" for the Welsh Assembly as he paid tribute to his former colleague.

He said: "We were all very shocked by what happened last week. There is great hurt, anger and bewilderment. Carl was my friend in all of the years that I knew him, I never had a cross word with him, never argued with him for 14 years."

He added: "We worked together he was a great chief whip and minister who served his country with distinction.

"There are a lot of inaccuracies in the press and many of you will have questions to ask about what happened last week. Everybody is grieving and it’s not important for me to get into precise detail. These are matters for the future, things that will need to be properly disclosed through what should be through a coroner's inquest.

"As there will in all probability be an inquest, I and my team will of course be cooperating fully with any questions that are raised there. The family deserve to have their questions answered and if that isn’t possible through an inquest then I will endeavour to ensure that that happens through other means.

"There is a legal process to go through and I'm obviously acting within that, but I welcome the scrutiny of my actions in the future and its appropriate for that to be done independently.

"I properly did all that I could to ensure that everything was being done by the book. I had no alternative but to take the action that I did and I hope people will understand that.

"But Carl was a true force of nature. He drove through more legislation than any other minister, not through force of argument but through sheer force of personality and persuasion.

"Wales has lost a person of great warmth, ability and charisma. These are the darkest days that any of us can remember in this institution, but they are darkest of all for the family and we must respect their right to grieve in peace at this time."

Labour shadow minister Dawn Butler yesterday insisted Labour had acted properly throughout, despite earlier suggesting mistakes had been made.

Speaking on Radio 5Live, she said: "There needs to be an independent professional body that comes out and investigates what happened in that circumstance, because it doesn’t sound as though everything that should have happened, happened."

But in a statement afterwards, Ms Butler said: "After giving an interview this morning, I have looked further into the process followed in this case. I am satisfied that the appropriate process was followed, including preserving the anonymity of alleged victims at this stage of the process, and therefore do not feel an investigation is required."