In my Written Statement of 11 July last year, following the conclusion of the Coroner’s Inquest into the tragic death of Carl Sargeant, I told Members that I thought it was right that there should be a period of reflection and that I would assess what further steps should be taken, in consultation with the Sargeant family and other interested parties.
I subsequently invited the Chair of ACAS Sir Brendan Barber, acting in a personal capacity, to speak with the parties to see if an agreed way forward could be found. I am most grateful to Sir Brendan for agreeing to undertake this work. I am also grateful to the family of the late Carl Sargeant and to the former First Minister Carwyn Jones for their constructive engagement.
As a result of his discussions Sir Brendan has made two recommendations to me. First that the Independent Investigation should not proceed, and second that the Welsh Government should meet the reasonable outstanding legal costs of the Sargeant family. I have decided to accept and to implement both. I am attaching with this Statement copies of the exchange of letters between Sir Brendan and myself, which set out the results of his discussions and his recommendations, together with my response.
I know that all parties involved now share a wish to bring an end to the public controversy in relation to the tragic death of Carl, allowing us all to remember him as the valued husband, father, colleague and friend that he was.