Following the sacking and untimely death of former Welsh Cabinet member Carl Sargeant, Welsh First Minister and Labour leader Carwyn Jones is under increasing pressure to resign after his former ‘right-hand man’ accused him of presiding over a ‘toxic bullying culture’.
In Jones’ formal statement on the matter, he called Sargeant his friend and claimed to ‘welcome any scrutiny’ of his actions:
This appears at odds with a photo allegedly showing Jones’ ‘SpAd’ celebrating Carl Sargeant’s sacking on the evening after it happened:
Mr Sargeant’s family have alleged that Carwyn Jones manipulated Labour’s rules in order to sideline Sargeant, who – according to senior Labour sources – was both popular and a political threat and rival to the First Minister. However, rather than than ‘manipulate’ them, it appears he ignored them.
The Labour Party publishes its rules on sexual harassment and how allegations must be handled. It dates to before Jones suspended and sacked Carl Sargeant.
The policy describes what constitutes sexual harassment and lays out a series of eleven steps designed to ensure due process is followed and that both ‘complainants’ and ‘respondents’ are treated properly. The first four of these steps are:
But this is far from the process that Carwyn Jones appears to have followed. Mr Sargeant’s family say that up to his death three days after his sacking and suspension, he still did not know the details of the charges against him, so had not been asked to provide a written statement about them.
Sargeant was sacked on 3 November – before even step one had taken place, let alone step two: sending the statements to the appropriate NEC panel. Even an administrative suspension during an investigation is not supposed to begin until after steps 1-3 have been completed.
Yet Carwyn Jones had already sacked Carl Sargeant and Mr Sargeant had been suspended – allegedly after a discussion with a SpAd (special adviser) who was later alleged to be ‘celebrating’ his sacking.
All evidently without due process.
A senior Labour source confirmed that the policy had been in place since well before Sargeant’s sacking and expressed the opinion that the sequence of events in Carl Sargeant’s case would suggest that the policy had been ‘ignored’.
Carwyn Jones was contacted for comment but has not responded. Perhaps the SKWAWKBOX’s ‘scrutiny’ was not ‘welcome’.
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