By Gareth Axenderrie
Labour Assembly member for Alyn and Deeside, Carl Sargeant, has been found dead in Connah’s Quay, Flintshire.
Mr Sargeant, 49, had been sacked from his post as Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children last week following an allegation made about his behaviour. In response, he had called for an ‘urgent’ investigation in order to allow him to clear his name.
It is unclear what the allegations made against the married father of two had entailed, but there are believed to be several that emerged following a series of sexual harassment allegations made against senior political figures in Westminster.
A family statement said they were “devastated beyond words” at the loss of “the glue that bound us together”.
All Assembly events have been cancelled for the day, as a solemn mood descends upon Cardiff Bay. News emerged as politicians, journalists and members of the public gathered in the Senedd’s public area ahead of First Minister’s Questions.
First Minister Carwyn Jones paid tribute to his former cabinet member, saying: “Carl was a friend as well as a colleague and I am shocked and deeply saddened by his death.
“He made a big contribution to Welsh public life and fought tirelessly for those he represented both as a minister and as a local assembly member.
“He will be a great loss both to our party and to the Senedd.”
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies said: “Our Parliament has lost a stalwart and many of us have lost a friend.”
North Wales Police have stated that the death is not being treated as suspicious and that the matter has been referred to HM coroner.