Welsh Assembly Member (AM) Carl Sargeant is said to have taken his own life after being suspended over allegations of inappropriate behaviour. The allegations – which his legal team was still asking for information on when he died – are understood to have involved claims that Mr Sargeant had already addressed some time ago with Welsh First Minister and Labour leader Carwyn Jones.
Labour’s HQ is ignored (later picked up by WalesOnline here) its own procedures in the way the suspension was handled – and Carwyn Jones is under investigation for his behaviour. However, the scope of the investigation has been questioned and a Tory AM this week made a personal statement to the Assembly that Sargeant had told him about being bullied – a claim corroborated by former Labour AM Leighton Andrews in a press release:
Back in 2014 the First Minister was made aware by three Cabinet Ministers including Carl Sargeant of the issues raised this week by Darren Millar. Indeed Carl Sargeant explicitly raised these issues with the First Minister on the evening of 14 October 2014.
A fourth Cabinet Minister had previously raised these issues with him. The First Minister’s style was always to try to handle these things informally, and to discourage us from putting anything in writing.
Andrews also released a text that had been sent to him by Welsh government advisor Matt Greenough that confirmed he had told Jones that he needed to speak to Sargeant and that a meeting between Jones and Sargeant was taking place:
This information is already in the public domain. However, the SKWAWKBOX can exclusively reveal additional information from a Welsh government source about the nature of some of the treatment of Carl Sargeant in the Labour office.
The source, who does not wish to be named, used to work at Tŷ Hywel – the ‘Assembly Office’ of the Welsh government – and described what Sargeant faced:
While these facts may not have contributed directly to Carl Sargeant’s death, they are crucial background to the way in which the allegations against him were revived and handled – and to the pressure that he was under.
The bleak truth appears to be that Carl Sargeant was routinely micro-managed, belittled and his achievements dismissed – and then suspended without even being told the nature of the allegations against him.
The SKWAWKBOX contacted Carwyn Jones some time ago for comment on the party’s behaviour toward Sargeant and his suspension. He did not respond.
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