QC-led inquiry into events surrounding Carl Sargeant’s death dropped following agreement

(Title Image: BBC Wales)

A long-running fight to secure an independent QC-led inquiry into the actions of former First Minister, Carwyn Jones AM (Lab, Bridgend), before and after the death of Carl Sargeant in November 2017 has finally come to an end.

Following an agreement between the Welsh Government and Sargeant family – mediated by ACAS Chair, Brendan Barber – plans for an inquiry have been dropped, with the Welsh Government agreeing to pay all outstanding legal costs worth £220,000.

Plans for a QC-led inquiry were announced a few days after Carl Sargeant’s death, but its independence and terms of reference were questioned from the start.

Following a successful High Court challenge in January 2019 – in which Carwyn Jones’ involvement in setting the terms was described as “unlawful” – the Welsh Government reviewed the terms of reference, though the remained largely unchanged. On the second anniversary of Carl Sargeant’s death last November, the Sargeant family expressed their anger that work was still yet to start on the inquiry.

After the agreement was announced earlier this week, the Sargeant family said, “As a family, we have come to realise that the inquiry process would be unlikely to give us the answers we seek. So, enough is enough. We must draw a line under everything and let our grieving process begin.”

The First Minister, Mark Drakeford, said: “I know that all parties involved now share a wish to bring an end to the public controversy in relation to the tragic death of Carl, allowing us all to remember him as the valued husband, father, colleague and friend that he was.”