Dawn Butler Retracts Demand For Investigation Into How Labour Handled Carl Sargeant Allegations

Shadow minister had called for independent inquiry.

Labour MP Dawn Butler has retracted her demand that an independent investigation be launched into how Welsh Labour handled allegations against Carl Sargeant.

Sargeant was found dead on Tuesday after he was sacked from his post as Welsh communities secretary following what he called “shocking and distressing” allegations about his conduct. It is understood he took his own life.

Butler, the shadow minister for women and equalities, told BBC Radio 5 Live on Wednesday that how the accusations against Sargeant were handled needed “to be fully investigated”.

She said: “It doesn’t sound as though everything that should have happened, happened”.

However following the broadcast she issued a clarification and withdrew her comment.

“After giving an interview this morning, I have looked further into the process followed in this case,” she said.

“I am satisfied that the appropriate process was followed, including preserving the anonymity of alleged victims at this stage of the process, and therefore do not feel an investigation is required.”

Sargeant’s family have released correspondence indicating that he was facing allegations of “unwanted attention, inappropriate touching or groping” - which he denied.

Labour MP Dawn Butler.
Labour MP Dawn Butler.
PA Archive/PA Images

Jeremy Corbyn said the death was “terrible and deeply shocking” while his deputy Tom Watson said it was a “tragedy beyond words”.

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said he was “shocked and saddened by the tragic news”.

In a statement Sargeant’s family said: “Carl was a much loved husband, father and friend. He wasn’t simply a part of our family. He was the glue that bound us together. He was the heart of our family. We loved him so very much.

“He was the most kind and caring husband, father, son and friend.We are devastated beyond words, and we know our grief will be shared by all those who knew and loved him.

“We are in shock and grief. We ask that our privacy is respected at this time.”

Sargeant was told about the existence of allegations against him by Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones last week but had not been given details about the claims.

He described the allegations as “shocking and distressing” and he had hoped for an urgent investigation to give him the chance to clear his name.

On Monday, Jones said he was forced to take action after becoming aware of “certain incidents” with women allegedly involving Sargeant.

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