Mark Drakeford's wife Clare dies suddenly

Mark Drakeford with his wife Clare - Matthew Horwood
Mark Drakeford with his wife Clare - Matthew Horwood

Clare Drakeford, the wife of Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford, has died suddenly, the Welsh Government has announced.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "It is with deep sadness that we confirm the sudden passing of Clare Drakeford, wife of the 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 couple married in 1977 and had three children together. Mr Drakeford has been First Minister of Wales since 2018.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Drakeford moved into a building in his garden to protect his wife and mother-in-law, who he said had been shielding.

The family have lived in the Pontcanna area of Cardiff for 30 years.

The Prince and Princess of Wales sent their best wishes on Twitter:

Politicians across the Senedd expressed their sympathies for Mr Drakeford and his family following news of Mrs Drakeford's death.

Adam Price, the Plaid Cymru leader, tweeted: "My heart is absolutely breaking for @PrifWeinidog [Mark Drakeford] after hearing of the sudden passing of his wife, Clare Drakeford.

"I know how close you were and there are no words to describe the pain you must be feeling. My thoughts are with you and your family. We're all here for you Mark."

Andrew RT Davies, the Welsh Conservatives leader, said Clare was "always a lovely lady and was very warm and kind. I'm shocked and deeply saddened to hear of her passing."

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said she was sending Mr Drakeford "love and strength" following the news that his wife, Clare, has died suddenly.

"My thoughts are with Mark and his family at this terribly sad time," Ms Sturgeon tweeted.

Downing Street said that Rishi Sunak had passed on his deepest condolences to the Mr Drakeford privately.