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Wife of Welsh First Minister Dies Suddenly

Wales's First Minister Mark Drakeford and wife Clare arriving at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, for a Service of Prayer and Reflection for the life of Queen Elizabeth II, on Sept. 16, 2022. (Jacob King/PA Media)

The wife of Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has died suddenly, the Welsh Government has confirmed.

In a statement published on Saturday, a government spokesman said, “It is with deep sadness that we confirm the sudden passing of Clare Drakeford, wife of the Labour first minister.

“The thoughts of everyone in the Welsh Government are with the family at this time and we ask that their privacy is respected,” the statement reads.

According to Wales Online, the couple have been married for over 45 years and have three children.

Downing Street said that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had passed on his deepest condolences to the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford privately.

Writing on Twitter, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she is sending “love and strength.”

“My thoughts are with Mark and his family at this terribly sad time,” Sturgeon wrote.

“On the occasions I met Clare it was obvious how strong the bond between her and Mark was, and I can only imagine the depth of grief he is feeling.

“Sending him love and strength,” she added.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer offered the “deepest condolences” on behalf of the party.

“I’m deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Clare Drakeford,” he said in a statement.

“On behalf of the whole Labour Party, I send our deepest condolences to Mark and all the family. I know just how close they were as a couple, and I can only imagine the sense of loss Mark and the whole family are feeling.

“They are all in our thoughts and prayers.”

Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill also expressed her condolences from Northern Ireland.

“My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as they mourn their loss and come to terms with their grief,” she wrote on Twitter.

PA Media contributed to this report.