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Carwyn Jones says he acted 'by the book' in investigation into Carl Sargeant claims

The Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones. Credit: PA

The Welsh First Minister said he acted "by the book" in his handling of misconduct claims against a Labour politician who was found dead days after being sacked from his ministerial post over the allegations.

Carwyn Jones faced anger and calls to resign after it emerged that Carl Sargeant had not been given full details of the claims against him when he took his own life on Tuesday.

The former communities and children secretary had been sacked from the Welsh Government four days earlier over allegations of "unwanted attention, inappropriate touching or groping".

Mr Jones said he would fully cooperate with any inquest or investigation in a public statement after he met with members of the Welsh Labour Assembly Members today.

"I quite properly did all I could to make sure that everything was being done by the book," he said.

"I had no alternative but to take the action that I did and I hope that people will understand that."

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Mr Jones said "these are the darkest days any of us can remember" in an emotional statement.

He acknowledged the "great hurt, anger and bewilderment" over Mr Sargeant's death.

"Wales has lost a person of great warmth, ability and charisma," he said.

Carl Sargeant had not been told details of the claims against him at the time of his death. Credit: AP

A Labour Party spokesman has insisted the Party's governance and legal unit had "outlined the nature of the allegations" to Mr Sargeant.

But his family said the politician was "not afforded natural justice" by the party's investigators as he was unable to defend himself properly against the allegations without full information about the accusations.

There have also been questions as to why Mr Sargeant was sacked - instead of suspended - over the claims before any official ruling over whether they were proven.

Bernie Attridge, the deputy leader of Flintshire County Council and a councillor in Mr Sargeant's home town, Connah's Quay, had demanded the First Minister's resignation over his handling of the issue.

In a message to Mr Jones, he said: "I call on you to do the right thing and resign. The way you have treated Carl is unforgivable, you make me sick."

Labour Assembly Member Jenny Rathbone also raised concerns about the situation, saying it was "basic fairness" to give details of allegations to those accused.

Jeremy Corbyn said Labour should wait for official reports into Mr Sargeant's death. Credit: PA

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said it would be "wrong to speculate" over the circumstances surrounding Mr Sargeant's death when questioned over calls for Mr Jones' resignation.

Describing Mr Sargeant's death as a "terrible tragedy", he said: "Clearly an inquest will follow. Inquiries will then follow.

"We will have to await the outcome of those. It would be wrong for any speculation by me or anybody else to take place on those circumstances."