Carl Sargeant, a Welsh politician who was the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children in the Welsh Government, is said to have taken his own life on Tuesday. Sargeant was fired after allegations against him related to “unwanted attention, inappropriate touching or groping.”
Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, has come under fire for how he handled the situation, and is accused of withholding information from Sargeant, preventing him from knowing the exact nature of the accusations against him so that he could defend himself and clear his name.
According to Neil Hamilton, leader of UKIP in Wales, Carwyn Jones acted disproportionately and without human sympathy in how he dealt with Sargeant.
“It is clear that his summary dismissal was both heartless and in breach of the most fundamental principle of natural justice – giving the accused the right to defend himself,” Hamilton said. “By publicly sacking Carl without giving him details of the allegations, he subjected Carl to trial by innuendo and left him to twist in the wind. Carwyn Jones is an experienced criminal law barrister and must be held to the highest standards of due process. The intolerable mental anguish which that failure caused led directly to Carl’s suicide. The first minister should accept his personal responsibility and resign.”
‘Up to the point of his tragic death on Tuesday morning Carl was not informed of any of the detail of the allegations against him, despite requests and warnings regarding his mental welfare,’ the spokesman said. ‘The correspondence also discloses the solicitor’s concern that media appearances by the First Minister on Monday were prejudicing the inquiry.
‘The family wish to disclose the fact that Carl maintained his innocence and he categorically denied any wrongdoing.
‘The distress of not being able to defend himself properly against these unspecified allegations meant he was not afforded common courtesy, decency or natural justice.’ Mr Sargeant’s solicitors last night issued a further statement accusing Labour of abandoning him in his hour of need.
Members of the Welsh Assembly are meeting today, and Mr Jones is expected to make a statement regarding this issue afterwards.