Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has asked for an independent inquiry to examine his “actions and decisions” in relation to Carl Sargeant, a spokesman has said.
It comes after Sargeant’s family called for an independent inquiry to start “immediately”.
Sargeant was removed as a Welsh Government minister and suspended from the Labour Party because he was facing allegations of “unwanted attention, inappropriate touching or groping”.
The Alyn and Deeside AM is understood to have taken his own life four days after the claims emerged.
On Thursday, Jones said he had “no alternative” over his handling of claims against the former Communities Secretary and said he had acted “by the book”.
In a statement released on Friday, his spokesman said it would be “proper” to ask for an independent inquiry.
A spokesman for Jones said in a statement:
“Further to the First Minister’s comments yesterday about the need for independent scrutiny of his actions and decisions in relation to Carl Sargeant, he agrees that there should be an independent inquiry and it would be proper to ask a senior QC to lead that work.
“To ensure this happens separately from his office, the First Minister has asked the Permanent Secretary to begin preparatory work for this inquiry, and to make contact with the family to discuss the terms of reference and the identity of the QC.
“It is our understanding that such an inquiry should not take place before the outcome of a Coroner’s Inquest - but we will take further advice on this matter.”
Earlier today, a statement was released on behalf of Sargeant’s family, which said that the First Minister’s suggestion on Thursday that the answers the family seek should be dealt with a coroner’s inquest was “deeply concerning” .
The family said a coroner’s inquest cannot apportion guilt or attribute blame.
The statement continued: “An independent inquiry will ask all the questions that need to be asked and have not been answered, and will determine the reasons for the serious failings in following the correct procedures, practices and protocols, and the reasons for the complete abdication of responsibility and duty of care that was owed to Carl.”
Jones, who is Wales’ most senior politician, has faced to calls to step down.
A friend of Sargeant said Jones’ treatment of his former minister had been “unforgivable” and he should “do the right thing and resign”.