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Wrexham MP joins calls for independent inquiry into Carl Sargeant’s death

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas has called for an independent inquiry into the tragic death of Carl Sargeant AM.

The Alyn and Deeside Assembly Member was found dead at his home in Connah’s Quay on Tuesday morning.

Last Friday Mr Sargeant was sacked from his position as Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children last week amid unspecified allegations of his personal conduct.

Earlier this week Mr Lucas paid tribute to Mr Sargeant, described him as a “great man to have at your side.”

The tribute continued onto say: “Solid as a rock, and built like one, I never, in the 14 years I knew him, saw him lose his temper. A gentle soul, he listened to everyone he met and carried forward the Labour cause of fairness and equality with dogged determination.

“A son of Flintshire, he was a great example of achievement of high office without university education. He shared with me an appreciation of the value of families in the political world and I grieve deeply at his own family’s unbearable loss.

“It was a privilege to know Carl and he has given me precious memories which I shall cherish always.”

Today the Wrexham MP has joined calls for an independent inquiry to be launched into the process followed which led to the death of Mr Sargeant.

The letter released by Mr Lucas this morning, states: “I know you will share the shock and grief following Carl’s tragic death.

“I listened to your statement yesterday and have heard the comments of Mark Tami MP which I fully support.

“I believe it is in the best interests of all involved, above all Carl’s family, that there now be an independent inquiry into the process followed which led to Carl’s death. I do not believe a Coroner’s Inquest will address the issues necessary to learn the lessons of this terrible course of events.

“I am especially puzzled that it appears Carl was dismissed as a Minister before any inquiry was carried out which enabled him to respond to allegations made against him.

“I have a number of questions which, in due course, I would like an inquiry to address.

“I do hope that you will announce and independent inquiry as soon as possible.”

Yesterday First Minister Carwyn Jones held a press conference at the Welsh Government offices in Cathays Park – his first since the death of Mr Sargeant on Tuesday.

There had been calls for Mr Jones to stand down from his role as First Minister, however speaking yesterday he said he had ‘no alternative to take the action’ that he did.

He said: “There are a lot of inaccuracies in the press and many of you have questions to ask about what happened last week. Everybody is grieving and it is not appropriate for me to get into the precise detail.

“These are matters for the future – things that will need to be properly disclosed through what should be a Coroner’s Inquest.

“As there will in all probability be an Inquest, I and my team will of course be cooperating fully with any questions that are raised there.

“The family deserve to have their questions answered and if that isn’t possibly through the Inquest then I will endeavour to make that happen through other means.

“There is a legal process to go through and I am obviously acting within that. I welcome any scrutiny of my actions in the future and it is appropriate for that to be done independently.

“I quite properly did all that I could to make sure that everything was being done by the book. I had no alternative to take the action that I did and I hope that people will understand that.”

Mr Jones also paid tribute to his friend whom he had worked with for 14 years, stating that Wales has “lost a person of great warmth, ability and charisma”.

He added that these are the “darkest days any of us can remember in this institution – but they are the darkest of all for the family, and we must respect their right to grieve in peace at this time”.

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