‘I am not the only person in this chamber who wants justice for my father’, said Jack Sargeant, son of the late Carl, in his maiden speech to the Welsh Assembly, having just won his father’s seat by a majority of 6,545.
‘There is no greater tribute I could pay to my dad than can to continue his legacy’ said the new Alyn and Deeside Assembly Member, who told the Assembly he wanted to help to ‘build a better, kinder politics for the future’, before receiving a standing ovation from members.
Jack’s late father, Carl, was found dead just days after allegations of inappropriate conduct towards women emerged, and had been the Assembly Member for Alyn and Deeside since 2003. The night before Mr Sargeant was found, Carwyn Jones had given an interview in which he mentioned the allegations against Carl.
Ever since this tragedy unfolded, the First Minister has come under immense pressure, and there are even murmurings that would indicate that some potential successors are already jostling for position.
There have been four independent investigations launched into the events surrounding the passing of Carl, who is believed to have taken his own life over the whirlwind of rumours and mental pressure.
One of the investigations is concerning the sacking of Carl and how allegations towards him were handled. Another is a coroner’s report, which the First Minister and other AMs are able to give evidence to. The third investigation is concerning whether or not the First Minister mislead the Assembly on the subject of bullying allegations, when it emerged that he had given two contradicting answers in the chamber at different times on the matter.
Darren Millar AM of the Welsh Conservatives also told the Chamber that in October 2014, Carl asked him to table questions on the subject of on-going bullying within the Welsh Government which had made Sargeant unhappy.
There have also been a number of former Assembly Members and government advisors who have publicly claimed that bullying is at the heart of the Welsh Government.
The other investigation, which has now concluded, was looking into whether or not the government made an ‘authorised’ leak to the press saying that Sargeant was going to be sacked before the reshuffle in early November took place.
The report has not been made public, and Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies has called for the conclusions of the investigation to be published at least. Mr Jones has thus far been reluctant to do so, lest it threaten the confidentiality of the identities of participants, but Mr RT Daives has insisted that it would be possible to avoid this by redacting any identities in the report.
Mr RT Davies has said: ‘What we need are answers to the many questions that have built up over the months.’
Meanwhile, Labour Assembly backbencher Jenny Rathbone has further thrown the First Minister’s position into doubt by saying there were ‘certainly plenty of runners and riders already declaring their hand.’