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First Minister announces independent inquiry – minutes after Sargeant family solicitor demands one

Minutes after the solicitor of the Sargeant family had finished giving a statement demanding an independent inquiry into the death of Carl Sargeant, the First Minister announced preparatory work for such an inquiry.

The below statement, again specifically critical of the First Minister, was delivered by the family solicitor.

Minutes after the above was delivered to media, the following statement was issued by a spokesperson for the First Minister, in addition to his comments at a press conference made yesterday where no inquiry was mentioned.

“Further to the First Minister’s comments yesterday about the need for independent scrutiny of his actions and decisions in relation to Carl Sargeant, he agrees that there should be an independent inquiry and it would be proper to ask a senior QC to lead that work.

“To ensure this happens separately from his office, the First Minister has asked the Permanent Secretary to begin preparatory work for this inquiry, and to make contact with the family to discuss the terms of reference and the identity of the QC.”

“It is our understanding that such an inquiry should not take place before the outcome of a Coroner’s Inquest – but we will take further advice on this matter.”

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