Labour Party closes investigation into late Assembly Member

Reporter:

David Humphreys

The Labour Party has closed an investigation into allegations made against former Alyn and Deeside Assembly Member Carl Sargeant.

Iain McNicol, general secretary of the Labour Party, confirmed it was “no longer possible” to take forward an investigation into allegations made against Mr Sargeant.

Mr Sargeant, 49, was sacked as Welsh Government cabinet secretary for communities and children on November 3 after allegations were made to First Minister Carwyn Jones relating to his personal conduct.

The married father-of-two was found dead at his home on Englefield Avenue, Connah’s Quay, four days later.

In sacking Mr Sargeant, whose funeral took place last Friday, Mr Jones said he had “no alternative” and he hoped people would understand that.

Mr McNicol, who described Mr Sargeant’s death as “a tragedy”, confirmed the investigation would be dropped in a letter to Huw Bowden, the solicitor acting on behalf of Mr Sargeant’s family.

He said: “Our thoughts and profound sympathy are with Carl’s family, friends and colleagues.”

Labour’s general secretary said the party would “of course co-operate fully with the coroner’s inquest and any other investigation as required” and it had “acted in accordance with its procedures in this matter”.

Mr McNicol said an initial complaint was received about Mr Sargeant on Friday,November 3 and party officials were waiting for the formal statement to send to him when they learned of his death.

“It is no longer possible to take forward any investigation under our procedures and therefore the Labour Party deems its investigation closed.”

However, “at no stage” did the Labour Party “assume or confer any guilt on any individual,” Mr McNicol said.

The general secretary said the party would “of course co-operate fully” with the coroner’s inquest but rejected any liability for costs.

He added: “We are confident we have acted in accordance with our procedures at all times and will continue to offer any assistance we can.

“We once again offer our deepest condolences to Mr Sargeant’s family and friends at this most appalling time.”

An inquiry was launched earlier this week to establish if Mr Sargeant’s sacking was leaked before he was told.

An independent inquiry, led by a QC, was launched just days after Mr Sargeant died to look into the circumstances leading up to his death, while another separate inquiry is looking into whether First Minister broke the ministerial code in how he handled questions about a “toxic” culture within the Welsh Government dating back to 2014.

A full inquest will also be held into Mr Sargeant’s death, which John Gittins, coroner for North Wales East and Central, has vowed will be a “full and fair examination of the matters relevant”. The First Minister could be among those called to give evidence.

A date has yet to be fixed for the inquest which Mr Gittins says will not “consider the veracity of the allegations made against Mr Sargeant”.

l Bernie Attridge, deputy Labour leader of Flintshire Council, last night vowed to fight Carl Sargeant’s seat as an Independent if Labour does not choose a local candidate for the seat,

On Twitter, he said: “Let’s make it clear that I will not stand as a candidate as long as the person chosen is not parachuted in and is chosen by the grassroots of Alyn and Deeside.

“If they don’t I will resign from Labour and stand as an Independent.”

Email:

david.humphreys@nwn.co.uk

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  • kevinweston20

    23:11, 07 December 2017

    What does the Welsh Assembly Labour Group think of their leader? An absolute disgrace!

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