Jack Sargeant wins by-election to take late father Carl's Welsh Assembly seat

7 February 2018, 09:40

The son of late Labour politician Carl Sargeant has said he is "so proud" to win the by-election which comes after his father's sudden death.

Jack Sargeant, 23, paid tribute to a "special community" as he became Labour's new Welsh Assembly member for Alyn and Deeside on Tuesday.

He called it a by-election "we shouldn't be fighting" in a "cold, wet, windy February", but used his victory speech to declare that now is not the time for questions about its cause.

Carl Sargeant, 49, was found dead in November after being suspended by Labour following unspecified allegations about his personal conduct. He is understood to have taken his own life.

Paying tribute to his father after increasing the party's vote share by more than 15%, Mr Sargeant thanked family and friends who "have supported me day in, day out, not just during this campaign but forever."

He said: "Above all, I want to say a big thank you to every person standing in this room tonight, everyone across Wales, across the UK and across the world as well who have stood by my family during the toughest time of our lives.

"This is a by-election here that we shouldn't be fighting in. None of the candidates on stage I'm sure, nor the people here supporting them, didn't expect to be going into a by-election certainly in February; a cold, wet, windy February.

"And there are questions still to be answered surrounding why we are standing for this by-election and there are inquiries under way but tonight is not the night for those questions to be answered. That will be done in due course."

Mr Sargeant called for a return to traditional Labour values of looking after those who are unable to do so themselves, and added: "Let's be kind to each other, because that's the message I learned from my dad."

An independent QC-led inquiry is currently under way into how Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones handled the sacking of Carl Sargeant as cabinet secretary for communities and children before his death.

An inquest into his death at his home in Connah's Quay, Flintshire, has been opened and adjourned.