FORMER First Minster Carwyn Jones denied lying under oath when he gave evidence previously at an inquest into the death of a sacked minister Carl Sargeant.

The denial came after an Assembly Member disputed claims that she was given the role as pastoral carer to the former Welsh Government Minister and Alyn and Deeside AM.

The inquest into the death of Carl Sargeant resumed today (Monday, July 8).

Former First Minister Carwyn Jones previously told the inquest about tasking Ann Jones AM with offering support and pastoral care to Mr Sargeant following his dismissal.

However, at the inquest held in Ruthin Ms Jones said it was ‘not to her understanding’ that she had been given the role formally as she was not trained to do so.

On November 3, 2017, Ms Jones was at a family funeral and after hearing of Mr Sargeant’s sacking via the media, she immediately texted him and saw a text of Matt Greenough (special advisor) saying he believed he had ‘not taken it well’.

The hearing heard how over the course of the weekend Ms Jones tried to contact Mr Sargeant but received no response until Monday evening after hearing of the allegations from the media.

In a message sent to Ms Jones at 19.38pm, Mr Sargeant said: “I still have no idea of the allegation detail, all we know is off the BBC what the First Minister briefed.

“I’m telling no-one again I’m thinking of running for First Minister.”

Matt Greenough said he contacted Ms Jones due to ‘personal concern’ and would not use the term pastoral care.

The hearing also heard how Ms Jones did not recall hearing from the First Minister or Matt Greenough that weekend until receiving a phone call from Mr Jones on November 8.

Ms Jones said: “He did then say there was some levels of press interest around the handling of staffing and how Carl had been taken out of government.

“He was going to say to the press he asked me to provide care for Carl. I remember saying to him don’t do that that’s not what my understanding was.”

Leslie Thomas QC, on behalf of Jack and Bernie Sargeant, said: “The point is, you made it clear that what he wanted to put out to the press, you were unhappy with and it wasn’t correct.”

When asked her thoughts on the behaviour or Mr Sargeant, Ms Jones – who had known the AM since he joined the Assembly in 2003, said: “He’d always been appropriate and professional and had always been a real gentleman with me. I always found Carl to be a friend.”

Mr Sargeant was found hanged at his home in Englefield Avenue on November 7, four days after he had been dismissed from his role on cabinet.

Also giving evidence at the hearing was Carwyn Jones, who had been recalled.

John Gittins, senior coroner North Wales (East and Central), said: “Either you were mistaken in terms of what you said to me or I was misled and perhaps deliberately.”

Mr Jones told the hearing he believed Ms Jones had the role of liaison support, provided by the party.

He said he contacted Ms Jones after Mr Sargeant’s death about what her thoughts on the role.

He added that he was ‘surprised’ by Ms Jones’ response and that it ‘wasn’t some kind of cover story’.

He said she did provide pastoral care, she kept on contacting the AM and went beyond what was expected, and he was not sure what else could be done.

Leslie Thomas QC said Mr Jones ‘directly contradicted’ what he said under oath last year. In his former statement he said he had spoken to Ms Jones over the weekend but corrected that in a new statement which was submitted to the coroner’s office in March.

Mr Thomas said: “You fully understand the important of the oath you took and telling the truth.”

He went on to say Ms Jones made it clear she was not happy with what was expected of her, adding: “You were caught out in a lie. The lie being you told an untruth on oath that only came to light when that witness came forward."

Mr Jones replied: "Not at all."

Mr Thomas continued: “She makes it absolutely crystal clear you were asking here to do something she was unhappy of doing.”

He also denied allegations of a media leak about Mr Sargeant’s sacking and that the reshuffling was a normal reshuffle but under ‘unique’ circumstances.

During the inquest, Andy Sargeant, Carl’s brother, said many things could have been done differently, such as not telling Mr Sargeant of the allegations until after the reshuffle.

He added: “It was a damage limitation exercise for you. If Ann Jones hadn’t come forward, we and everyone here would’ve been in a position where we would have to take your evidence on face value.

“For me, it’s not a mistake.”

Mr Jones said he believes there is a difference in interpretation of the term pastoral care, adding: “Ann was contacting Carl, she was going beyond what she would’ve been expected to do, she was there for Carl.”

The inquest will resume on Tuesday, July 9.