Clare Drakeford death: wife of Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford dies suddenly, it is announced
Mark Drakeford’s wife has suddenly died
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Clare Drakeford’s death was announced by the Welsh Government on Saturday (28 January). A spokesperson 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.”
Mr Drakeford has been First Minister of Wales since 2018 and was reappointed to the post in May 2021. 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.
He told the PA news agency in February 2021 how they were in the top four priority groups for vaccination “due to their conditions”. Mr Drakeford added at the time: “I’m hugely grateful, because they’re both vulnerable. And although they’ve been incredibly careful and don’t do anything that puts them at risk, the fact they’ve had the vaccine is a relief.”
The family have lived in the Pontcanna area of Cardiff for 30 years. Mr Drakeford and his wife have three adult children together and married each other in 1977.
Tributes roll into to Clare Drakeford
Downing Street said that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had passed on his deepest condolences to the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford privately. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer sent his condolences, following the death of Clare Drakeford.
“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.”
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price tweeted: “My heart is absolutely breaking for @PrifWeinidog 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.”
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said she is sending Mark 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.
“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.”
Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies said: “My thoughts and prayers are with Mark Drakeford and his family at this exceptionally difficult time. On the occasions I met Clare, she was always a lovely lady and was very warm and kind. I’m shocked and deeply saddened to hear of her passing.”
Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies sent his thoughts and prayers to Mark Drakeford and his family. “Absolutely devastating news to learn of Clare Drakeford’s passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to Mark Drakeford and his family during this incredibly difficult time,” he tweeted.
Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill sent her condolences to Mark Drakeford and his family.
“My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as they mourn their loss and come to terms with their grief,” she tweeted.
The Prince and Princess of Wales have sent their condolences to Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford, following the death of his wife Clare. “Sending our thoughts and prayers to Mark Drakeford and his family. W & C,” William and Kate tweeted from their official Twitter account.
The Irish foreign affairs minister said he was “deeply saddened” by the death of Clare Drakeford.
Micheal Martin tweeted: “Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Clare Drakeford, the wife of Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford. My thoughts and prayers go to Mark and his family at this difficult time.”
More to follow.