THE former Welsh children’s minister who killed himself after being sacked for allegedly groping women was denied “natural justice”, his family have claimed.

There were calls for an independent investigation into the events leading up to the death of Carl Sergeant, who was found at his home on Tuesday.

The 49-year-old father-of-two took his own life after being dismissed as Children and Communities Secretary last Friday.

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The Alyn and Deeside assembly member had also been suspended by the Labour party.

Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones is facing mounting criticism for the way he dealt with the case.

Mr Sergeant’s family said he was accused of “unwanted attention, inappropriate touching or groping” and was distressed at being unable to defend himself because of a lack of details.

They also released correspondence in which Mr Sergeant’s lawyer complained to Labour that Mr Jones had “felt able to conduct interviews with the BBC” about the allegations.

The lawyer said: “This is clearly prejudicing what is allegedly an independent enquiry.”

He added: “There appears to be a very real possibility that the evidence of the witnesses is being manipulated” through contact with the First Minister’s Office, which “at the very least must create uncertainties about the credibility of any evidence in due course”.

It also emerged yesterday that the son of former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott had been suspended from his job as an aide to Jeremy Corbyn after complaints against him.

David Prescott, whose father was Tony Blair’s deputy from 1997 to 2007, is being investigated by the UK leader’s office after being suspended several days ago.

Labour refused to explain exactly why Mr Prescott had been suspended, but said it took “all complaints of sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination extremely seriously”.

Sir Alistair Graham, a former chairman of the committee on standards in public life, said a senior lawyer should review the circumstances of Mr Sergeant’s death.

He told BBC Radio Wales: “You don’t dismiss somebody from a position without first going through due process. There is a duty of care. When serious allegations come which may go back many years then there can be a very serious shock to people. They have to explain to their family that allegations have been made, they can feel extremely vulnerable.”

Mark Tami, the Labour MP in Mr Sergeant’s constituency and a close friend, said the party failed in its duty of care and Mr Sergeant had found it “very difficult” to defend himself.

Jenny Rathbone, the Labour assembly member for Cardiff Central, added: “Clearly, he wasn’t dealt with fairly in the most basic sense.

“If allegations are made against you, you must know what they are so you can respond to them. That doesn’t appear to have happened.”

She added: "I'm not aware of any form of pastoral care offered but fortunately there was lots of informal care from people who loved him."

Labour MP Dawn Butler, the shadow minister for women and equalities, said Labour’s policy was to tell an accused member the accusation they faced, and called for an investigation.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live: “There needs to be an independent professional body that comes out and investigates what happened in that circumstance because it doesn’t sound as though everything that should have happened, happened.

“It needs to be fully investigated and independently investigated.

“It was just heartbreaking. Terrible, terrible shock.”

However she later backed away from her own idea, tweeting that, after looking into the matter, it appeared “the appropriate process was followed, including preserving the anonymity of alleged victims at each stage of the process”.

Mr Sargeant was in New York with his wife last week. On his return, he met Mr Jones on Friday when he was sacked and suspended from the party.

At the time, Mr Sargeant said he was looking forward to clearing his name, but did not know the details of the allegations.