Wales politics

Carl Sargeant sacking inquiry to begin 'as soon as possible'

Carl Sargeant

An investigation into how ex-Labour minister Carl Sargeant was sacked by First Minister Carwyn Jones will begin as soon as possible, the Welsh Government's top official has said.

Mr Sargeant, 49, was found dead four days after losing his cabinet job last November.

He was facing allegations about his personal conduct.

Permanent Secretary Shan Morgan said the investigation should take no longer than four months.

She also confirmed a separate inquiry found no evidence that details of a cabinet reshuffle - held on the day Mr Sargeant lost his job - were leaked beforehand.

Mr Sargeant's family has agreed to the appointment of Paul Bowen QC to lead the inquiry into how Mr Jones handled the sacking.

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Image caption Carwyn Jones said it was important for evidence to be gathered

Ms Morgan said Mr Bowen's independent investigation into the dismissal would have "complete autonomy".

In a letter to AMs, she said the next stage would be for Mr Bowen to contact the family and discuss the draft final terms of reference.

Those terms of reference will then be formally determined by Ms Morgan.

Ms Morgan also set out the terms under which the government would repay legal costs, including those of Mr Sargeant's family.

Information collected by the investigation will be held away from the government, and Mr Bowen will be able to take oral evidence in private.

She said Mr Bowen should start "as soon as possible and should aim to complete the investigation within a period of four months", but if he needed longer than a new timescale could be agreed.

In a statement on the separate leak inquiry, a Welsh Government spokesperson said: "This investigation has now finished and found that there is no evidence of prior unauthorised sharing of information by the Welsh Government relating to the recent ministerial reshuffle."

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