Carwyn Jones has revealed he did consider resigning in the days which followed the death of Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant in November 2017.
The first minister chose not to stand down at the time as “it would have looked as if I was accepting blame.” Said Carwyn Jones
The revelation comes in a major BBC One Wales documentary due to be broadcast tonight, Monday, December 10.
Jones summarises the events following the death of Carl Sargeant in what the BBC describes as an ’emotional’ interview.
The first minister talks about the days after Mr Sargeant’s death, he explains how he went into what he describes as ‘First Minister mode’.
Following the death of the Deeside AM last year pressure grew on Carwyn Jones to resign.
Mr Sargeant had been kept in the dark over the nature of the allegations made against him or the identity of his accusers when he was removed by Carwyn Jones cabinet on 3 November 2017.
The Welsh Government’s secretary for communities and children was also suspended from the Labour Party, four days later he was found dead at his Connah’s Quay home.
Carwyn Jones says: “I had people around me who were upset. And my first instinct was to try and help them.”
As things changed over the following days his thoughts turned to his own position and even resignation: “It was so intense I thought – well – the only way this is going to stop, is if I go.”
Carwyn Jones then goes on to say: “If I’d have resigned a few days afterwards, it would have looked as if I was accepting blame.
I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t do that.”
Later in the film, he elaborates on the impact the death of Carl Sargeant has had on him:
“There’s not been a day since Carl died that I haven’t thought of it. It does chip away at you.
And you do then find yourself going down in terms of your mood. It’s inevitable.
“It does affect the way you see the world – you wouldn’t be human otherwise.”
BBC Wales was given unprecedented access to the First Minister and his family in his final months in the job.
As his 9 year tenure as First Minister of Wales comes to an end, his wife also offers unique insight into some of the pressures being in office have had on his family.
Interviewed in their home in Bridgend, Lisa Jones recounts some of the difficult times they’ve faced during his time as leader.
She says: “Carl has been the biggest challenge for him.
I’ve seen what it’s done to Carwyn and it’s been horrible. It’s put him in a terrible, terrible place. I’ve never seen him as low as that.”
Being First Minister, BBC One Wales