Carwyn Jones has 'nothing to hide' from Sargeant inquiry

After he shocked the Welsh Labour conference by announcing his plans to stand down, First Minister Carwyn Jones refused to do any interviews in Llandudno. But nearly a week later, he strolled out of Welsh Government headquarters in Cardiff and sat down with our Political Editor, Adrian Masters, in Cathays Park.

In an interview to be shown in full on Sharp End tomorrow night, Carwyn Jones said he felt re-energised by his decision to leave office by the end of the year. Questioned about the apparent suicide of Carl Sargeant after his sacking last November, the First Minister seemed confident that he would be vindicated by the inquiry into the events surrounding the former minister's death.

I've got nothing to hide and it's hugely important that all the evidence is put on the table. And it's hugely important as well for the family. Are you concerned that it will distract you from the business of the last months of your leadership? No. I'm used to dealing with difficult situations and there are pressures all the time in this job. You have to learn to deal with them and to deliver for the people you represent.

First Minister Carwyn Jones AM
The conversation continued in the Cathays Park sunshine after the interview was over. Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales

Mr Jones was insistent that his decision to stand down was not a consequence of Carl Sargeant's death and that he'd been planning his timetable for leaving office since September last year. In his conference speech he'd talked about how tough his being First Minister could be for his family, who'd helped him through what he called "the darkest times". So Adrian Masters asked him just how difficult the last few months had been for them.

Well it's always difficult. It's been difficult for lots of people, not least of course Carl's family. But from my perspective, I took the decision in September, kept it tight. I looked at the conference ... I thought that's the right time. It's given me a boost of energy in many ways. By December, I'll have done nine years -that's a good wack in this job.

First Minister Carwyn Jones AM
  • You can see Adrian Masters' interview with Carwyn Jones in full on Sharp End at 10:45pm on Monday night.