Welsh politician Carl Sargeant dies days after sacking over allegations
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the death was “terrible and deeply shocking news”.
Senior politician Carl Sargeant has been found dead just days after being sacked from his Welsh Government role and suspended from the Labour Party over allegations about his personal conduct.
The Welsh Assembly member, 49, who was removed from his cabinet post following allegations from a number of women, is understood to have taken his own life.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the death was “terrible and deeply shocking” while his deputy Tom Watson said it was a “tragedy beyond words”.
Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones, who sacked Mr Sargeant on November 3, said he was “shocked and deeply saddened”.
Police were called to his home in Connah’s Quay, in Mr Sargeant’s Alyn and Deeside seat, at 11.30am following a report that a body had been found.
Mr Sargeant was married to Bernie and they had two children, Lucy and Jack.
In a statement the family said: “Carl was a much loved husband, father and friend. He wasn’t simply a part of our family.
“He was the glue that bound us together. He was the heart of our family. We loved him so very much.
“He was the most kind and caring husband, father, son and friend.
“We are devastated beyond words, and we know our grief will be shared by all those who knew and loved him.
“We are in shock and grief. We ask that our privacy is respected at this time.”
Mr Sargeant was told about the existence of allegations against him by Mr Jones last week but had not been given details about the claims.
He described the allegations as “shocking and distressing” and he had hoped for an urgent investigation to give him the chance to clear his name.
On Monday, Mr Jones said he was forced to take action after becoming aware of “certain incidents” with women allegedly involving Mr Sargeant.
He told ITV News: “My office spoke to the women involved, as a result of those discussions I felt there was no choice other than to refer the matter to my own party for further investigation.”
Responding to his former colleague’s death, Mr Jones said: “Carl was a friend as well as a colleague and I am shocked and deeply saddened by his death.
“He made a big contribution to Welsh public life and fought tirelessly for those he represented both as a minister and as a local assembly member.
“He will be a great loss both to our party and to the Senedd.
“My heartfelt sympathies are with his family at this difficult time.”
I'm deeply shocked to hear of the terrible news about Carl Sargeant. My thoughts and profound sympathy are with his family and friends.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 7, 2017
Deputy Labour leader Mr Watson said he had campaigned with Mr Sargeant for many years.
“He was a powerful voice for working people and Wales.
“He put community at the heart of his politics and was respected by his constituents for it.”
My thoughts and prayers are with Carl Sargeant’s family right now. They have asked for privacy. I hope the media respect their wishes.— Tom Watson (@tom_watson) November 7, 2017
Alyn and Deeside’s Labour MP Mark Tami, who had shared an office with Mr Sargeant, said: “I will miss him very much.”
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said he was “shocked and saddened by the tragic news”.
Superintendent Mark Pierce of North Wales Police said: “At approximately 11.30am today, Tuesday November 7, North Wales Police were called to a report that the body of a man had been found at an address in Connah’s Quay.
“The man has been formally identified as local AM Carl Sargeant. His next of kin have been informed and police are supporting the family.
“North Wales Police are not treating his death as suspicious and the matter has been referred to HM Coroner.
“The family request that their privacy is respected at this sad time.”