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Sacked UK minister takes own life

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An ex-Welsh Labour minister who faced a party inquiry into allegations about his personal conduct has taken his own life, BBC Wales reports.

Carl Sargeant, 49, lost his ministerial job as cabinet secretary for communities and children last Friday.

He was sacked after charges about his behaviour were passed to First Minister Carwyn Jones’s office.

Jones had said on Monday that he had heard of Sargeant’s several alleged incidents with women, and felt he had no choice but to refer the matter to the party

Mark Pierce of the North Wales Police said officers were called at about 11:30 GMT on Tuesday to a report that a man’s body had been found at an address in Connah’s Quay, Flintshire.

“The man has been formally identified as local Assembly Member, Carl Sargeant. His next of kin have been informed and police are supporting the family,” Pierce said.

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“North Wales Police are not treating his death as suspicious and the matter has been referred to HM (Her Majesty’s) Coroner.”

In a tribute by Jones, he said: “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.”

Other members of the cabinet who paid tributes to the deceased, described his death as a great loss and a shock.

Elin Jones, Assembly Presiding Officer, said Sargeant “served the people of Alyn and Deeside with pride and determination” and that he had made an “enormous contribution to the development of this democratic institution”.

“On behalf of all the members and those who work at the National Assembly for Wales, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to his family and colleagues,” she added.

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Andrew RT Davies, Welsh Conservative Leader said: “Our Parliament has lost a stalwart and many of us have lost a friend.”

Alun Cairns, Welsh Secretary said he was “shocked and saddened” by the news, adding that his heart “goes out to his family, friends and colleagues”.

Jeremy Corby, Labour Leader, said Sergeant’s death was “deeply shocking news”.

Sargeant was married and had two children. A family statement said they were “devastated beyond words” at the loss of “the glue that bound us together”.

The Welsh Assembly’s business for Tuesday has been cancelled as a mark of respect.

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