EVIDENCE given by former first minister Carwyn Jones at an inquest into the death of Carl Sargeant AM has been contradicted by another assembly member.

Mr Sargeant, the Alyn and Deeside AM, was found hanged at his home in Connah's Quay on November 7, 2017 – four days after he had been sacked from his job as cabinet secretary for communities and children over claims he had groped and touched women.

An inquest into his death resumed on Monday. It had been adjourned in November last year when a decision was made to recall then-first minister Mr Jones.


Mr Jones had told the inquest about the "pastoral care" offered to Mr Sargeant following his sacking, and said Vale of Clwyd AM Ann Jones had been tasked with liaising with him.

Appearing at the inquest at Ruthin County Hall, Mrs Jones said she did not believe she had been given a formal role.

She said on the night of the reshuffle, in which Mr Sargeant lost his cabinet role, she received a text message from Mr Jones's special adviser, Matt Greenough.

In the message, he said Mr Sargeant hadn't taken the news of his sacking particularly well, and he asked her to "give him a bell" over the weekend.

Mrs Jones told the inquest she had rang and messaged Mr Sargeant as requested, but had received no response until Monday – the evening before his death.

In a text message to her which was read to the court, Mr Sargeant wrote: "I still have no idea of the allegation detail, all we know is off the BBC what the First Minister briefed."

Mr Sargeant went on to write that he would not tell anyone again that he was thinking of running for the first minister job.

Leslie Thomas QC, representing Mr Sargeant's wife Bernie and son Jack, said: "He feels he has been, for want of a better expression, stitched up because it was known he was thinking of applying for the first minister role."

Mrs Jones replied: "I don't know what was behind Carl's thinking on that one."

Mrs Jones said the day after Mr Sargeant's death she received a phone call from the first minister.

She told the coroner's court: "He said that he was going to say to the press that he had asked me to provide a caring role to Carl.

"I remember saying to him 'don't do that, that's not what my understanding was'."

During evidence he gave to the inquest in November, Mr Jones said Mrs Jones had been in contact with Mr Sargeant and had had two roles.

He said: "Firstly, to make sure there was liaison between the Labour group and Carl, so Carl knew what the whip would be; and secondly she played a pastoral role as well."

Mrs Jones told the inquest: "That was not my understanding of why I was making contact with Carl."

Mrs Jones told the inquest she had known Mr Sargeant, a fellow Labour politician, since he joined the Assembly in 2003.

She said: "He's always been appropriately professional and had always been a real gentlemen with me."

Mr Jones – who stepped down as first minister last year – and Mr Greenough are both due to give evidence later today (Monday).