CARWYN Jones has resisted calls to resign following the death of former minister Carl Sargeant.

Mr Sargeant was found dead at his north Wales home on Tuesday morning, just days after he was sacked from the Welsh Government cabinet and suspended from the Labour Party after allegations arose about his conduct with women.

The first minister has since come under growing pressure from a number of sources unhappy about the process involved in Mr Sargeant's removal from the cabinet and suspension from the party.

Mr Jones has also been criticised for speaking to the media about the situation when an investigation was in process.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon the first minister said Mr Sargeant had "served his country with distinction".

But he declined to answer questions, saying: "Everybody is grieving and it is not appropriate for me to get into the precise detail.

"These are matters for the future, things that will need to be properly disclosed through what should be a coroner’s inquest."

He added: "The family deserve to have their questions answered and, if that isn’t possible through the inquest, then I will endeavour to make that happen through other means."

But Mr Jones did not address the growing pressure on him to resign, saying only: "There is a legal process to go through and I am obviously acting within that.

"I welcome any scrutiny of my actions in the future and it is appropriate for that to be done independently."

The first minister said he believed he "did all that I could to make sure that everything was being done by the book" in acting on the allegations.

"I had no alternative but to take the action that I did and I hope that people will understand that," he said.

Mr Sargeant reportedly did not know the full detail of the allegations against him up until his death.

Describing the Alyn and Deeside AM as "a true force of nature", Mr Jones paid tribute to his work to pass through legislation.

"Wales has lost a person of great warmth, ability and charisma," he said.

"These are the darkest days any of us can remember in this institution, but they are darkest of all for the family, and we must respect their right to grieve in peace at this time."

Meanwhile, Ukip's Welsh branch has called for a motion of no confidence in Mr Jones, saying he "has no moral authority to continue in the position of first minister".

And leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies said the first minister's statement "left many unanswered questions and fails to provide the answers Carl’s family deserve" and called for an investigation into the events leading up to Mr Sargeant's death.

Earlier today former Welsh Government minister Leighton Andrews, who served in the cabinet between 2009 and 2013 and again between 2014 and May 2016, made a series of claims of a “toxic” culture within Carwyn’s Jones’ cabinet.

In blog post the former AM said the atmosphere within the cabinet offices in the Senedd during his first stint as a minister was “toxic”, with “minor bullying, mind-games, power-games, favouritism, inconsistency of treatment to different ministers, deliberate personal undermining on occasion”.

“I found that the atmosphere was unquestionably worse after I returned to government in September 2014 than it had been in the period May 2011 - June 2013,” he said.

“Carl was unquestionably the target of some of this behaviour.

“The relentless drip-drip of disinformation – and worse – had a strain on his and others’ mental health.

"The first minister was made aware of this by several ministers, including myself.

“Nothing was done.

"In a normal workplace, it would have been tackled."

Mr Andrews also said he believed Mr Sargeant was “not given the benefit of due process over the complaints made against him, and that the interviews given on Monday by the first minister prejudiced any inquiry in themselves”.

He added he had made a complaint to Carwyn Jones about “deliberate personal undermining” of Mr Sargeant in 2014, but no action was taken.

In a statement following today's group meeting the Assembly's Labour group described Mr Sargeant as "a much loved friend and colleague".

"Wales has lost one of the most compassionate, supportive and spirited people you could wish to meet," it said.

"He was a great friend to all of us here and to so many more across Wales."

An inquest into Mr Sargeant's death will be opened on Monday, November 13.