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Carl Sargeant's Widow Wins High Court Challenge

The widow of a former Welsh Government minister has won a challenge over whether an inquiry into his sacking was legal.

Carl Sargeant was found dead at his home days after his removal from office over sexual misconduct allegations.

Two judges have decided the way this was set up by the then-first minister Carwyn Jones was unlawful.

Mrs Sargeant had argued a statement made by Mr Jones three days following her husband's death had suggested the inquiry and its procedures would be set up and decided by the Welsh Government's permanent secretary Shan Morgan, independently of the first minister's office.

However, High Court judges have now found Ms Morgan had been given a fixed remit for the inquiry by Mr Jones. As a result, some elements of the inquiry, including that oral evidence is heard in private and the Sargeant family's lawyers not being allowed to question witnesses, will be reviewed.

Calling on the Welsh Government’s Permanent Secretary to consider her position, former Welsh Conservative leader, Andrew RT Davies AM said:

“This is a damning judgement that highlights unlawful practice from key figures at the heart of the Welsh Government including the former first minister and current permanent secretary.

“These findings call into question the whole process and quite frankly make it inconceivable that the Permanent Secretary can continue in post, given the complete compromise of the impartiality of her position and office.

“It’s now vital that the First Minister outlines what action he will take to restore the reputation of the Welsh Government and civil service, and this should start with the publication of the leak inquiry report which was overseen by the Permanent Secretary and her office.”

Mr Davies has today submitted a topical question to the First Minister for consideration by the Presiding Officer, which if accepted, will be taken this afternoon.

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