Carl Sargeant: ‘Hanging’ cause of ex-minister’s death

Carl Sargeant

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Carl Sargeant died on Tuesday after an investigation was launched into his conduct

Sacked Welsh Labour minister Carl Sargeant’s provisional cause of death was hanging, an inquest has heard.

The 49-year-old married father-of-two, who had been Alyn and Deeside AM since 2003, was found dead at his home in Connah’s Quay, Flintshire, on Tuesday.

He was found dead four days after being sacked from his job as cabinet secretary for communities and children.

At the opening of his inquest, coroner John Gittins said it was “an apparent act of self harm”.

He said Mr Sargeant was found by his wife Bernadette on the floor of the utility room.

Family members attempted to resuscitate him before paramedics arrived and continued those efforts, but the former minister was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later, the inquest at Ruthin, Denbighshire, was told.

He was removed from his role amid allegations he had “touched or groped” a number of women.

Mr Sargeant was facing a party investigation into claims about inappropriate personal conduct and had been suspended from the Welsh Labour party when he died.

Mr Gittins, coroner for North Wales East and Central, said the inquest would not consider the veracity of the allegations made against Mr Sargeant, nor would he be “looking to Cardiff and the Welsh Assembly or the Labour Party” about who was right or wrong and who could be trusted.

He said he would be seeking statements from First Minister Carwyn Jones and possibly others at the Welsh Assembly in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, fresh claims about bullying in the Welsh Government have been made by a former adviser to Mr Jones.

Steve Jones said he agreed with former cabinet minister Leighton Andrews, who has described a “toxic” atmosphere at the top of the administration.

The Welsh assembly’s business last week was cancelled as a mark of respect following his death.

Mr Sargeant’s family called him “the glue that bound us together”, adding they were “devastated beyond words”.

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North Wales Police was called to an address in Connah’s Quay on Tuesday morning

Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones said he was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the death and paid tribute to “a friend as well as a colleague”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Sargeant’s death was “deeply shocking news” while Prime Minister Theresa May said her “heart goes out to Carl Sargeant’s friends and family”.

Mr Jones sacked Mr Sargeant from his frontbench after the first minister learned of a number of alleged incidents involving women.

There will be an independent inquiry into how Mr Jones handled the case.

Carl Sargeant: ‘Hanging’ cause of ex-minister’s death

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