Welsh Assembly member Carl Sargeant, 49, was found hanged at the family home in Connah's Quay, North Wales, last year A politician who was foun
Welsh Assembly member Carl Sargeant, 49, was found hanged at the family home in Connah’s Quay, North Wales, last year
A politician who was found hanged amid sexual misconduct claims had told a friend the allegations were not true after he was sacked from the Welsh government, an inquest has heard.
Carl Sargeant, 49, was found dead at the family home in Connah’s Quay, North Wales, by his wife Bernadette on November 7 last year, four days after he was sacked from his role as cabinet secretary for communities and children by Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones.
A note Mr Sargeant left next to his body, addressed to his wife, children and family and friends, apologised for letting them down and said they did not deserve ‘adverse publicity’.
An inquest into his death today heard he had spoken to Stephen Jones, a former researcher and special adviser, shortly after his sacking.
Stephen Jones said in a statement that Mr Sargeant had texting him, saying he needed to speak about ‘bad s***’.
Mr Jones said: ‘Carl then rang me. He had been sacked from the government because of allegations relating to inappropriate conduct made against him by women.
‘He told me he did not know what the allegations were about, nor who they had been made by.’
Mr Sargeant’s wife Bernie and his son Jack have been attending an inquest into his death
In a second call, Mr Jones said Mr Sargeant had told him: ‘Carwyn told him not to go public about his sacking, they would handle it over the weekend.’
Mr Jones asked his friend if there was ‘any truth’ in the allegations.
His statement continued: ‘He said quite emphatically “No”. He said he did not know what he, Carwyn, was alleging.’
The inquest at Ruthin County Hall heard evidence that Mr Sargeant had been told not to speak about the reasons for his sacking in the Welsh Government cabinet reshuffle.
But after being relieved of his government job, Mr Sargeant had tweeted about the allegations against him and vowed to clear his name.
Mr Jones’s statement said the day after Mr Sargeant’s death he had a conversation with Ken Skates, a Welsh Assembly Member, about the First Minister’s reaction to Mr Sargeant speaking publicly about the reasons for his sacking.
Mr Jones’s statement read: ‘Ken said he, Carwyn Jones, was f****** furious.’
The inquest was told that Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones was ‘furious’ about Mr Sargeant’s public statement following his sacking
Coroner for North Wales, John Gittins, told the court he had received an email from Mr Skates in which he said he had seen Mr Jones’s statement and that he had been named and quoted, and he was ‘concerned about the accuracy’.
In a statement from Mr Skates read to the hearing, he said he was a colleague and friend of Mr Sargeant.
It went on: ‘I had a sense there was something wrong with his mental health for years. I had worked out from the way he was acting that he was struggling.
‘Carl started asking me more and more about dealing with mental health issues. I came to believe Carl’s emotional health was not right.
‘He told me he had taken up knitting as a form of mindfulness.
‘From working with Carl, I believe Carl had been struggling mentally for a long time before his death and had not been able to resolve his issues.’
The inquest continues.
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