The son of Carl Sargeant has revealed how warm tributes to the former Welsh Government minister have helped his family ‘bear the pain’ of his death.
Jack Sargeant said the Labour politician’s family had been ‘overwhelmed’ by the support offered from people in their home community of Connah’s Quay, north Wales, and across the country.
The emotional family statement came a day after attending the Welsh Assembly to see tributes paid by ministers to Mr Sargeant.
Jack Sargeant (pictured with his mother Bernie, sister Lucy and father), said the family had been ‘overwhelmed’ by the support offered from people across the country
Mr Sargeant, 49, was found dead at his home four days after being removed from his role as cabinet secretary for communities and children
A minute’s silence was held in Mr Sargeant’s memory at the Senedd in Cardiff on Tuesday, as Welsh Assembly business resumed after a week’s suspension following his apparent suicide on November 7.
Presiding officer Elin Jones told the chamber that his death at the age of 49 had ‘shaken us to our core’, while Wales’ first minister Carwyn Jones hailed him as ‘well liked and committed, jovial but determined, firm but fun’ and said he would be missed by the nation.
The father-of-two died four days after being suspended from the Labour Party and sacked as Welsh Government minister for communities and children over allegations of ‘unwanted attention, inappropriate touching or groping’, which he was contesting.
In a statement on behalf of the family, Jack Sargeant said: ‘My mum Bernie, my sister Lucy and I have been overwhelmed by the support we have received since Dad’s tragic death last Tuesday.
‘This has been the hardest week of our lives. It’s difficult to imagine how we would have coped without the support of other family members, the Connah’s Quay community and Dad’s friends from across Wales.
Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones is under fire for his handling of the allegations
A minute’s silence was held in memory of Mr Sargeant (pictured with his wife), at the Senedd in Cardiff on Tuesday
‘We have had so many messages of support from people who had met Dad once or those who had never met him at all but knew from others what a kind, caring and genuine man he was. Knowing how much Dad was loved has helped us bear the pain.
‘For us to be in the National Assembly yesterday – to hear for ourselves the heartfelt tributes from his friends and colleagues in Cardiff – was also a very moving experience.
‘We will always cherish the kindness extended to us during this time by friends and strangers alike. As a family, we would like to say ‘thank you’ from the bottom of our hearts.’
Mr Sargeant (right), was contesting allegations of ‘unwanted attention, inappropriate touching or groping’
Labour leader Carwyn Jones has rejected calls to resign over the apparent suicide of his former Chief Whip.
The First Minister has agreed to an independent inquiry led by a QC into his handling the allegations.
But he said the inquiry should be held after the outcome of Mr Sargeant’s inquest, which was formally opened on Monday.