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Welsh First Minister’s wife Clare Drakeford dies ‘suddenly’ as tributes pour in

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    The wife of Wales' First Minister has passed away suddenly, it has been announced by the Welsh government.

    Clare Drakeford, the wife of Mark Drakeford, was confirmed dead by a statement made on Saturday.

    It read: "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.”

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    The couple has three children together and had been married for 45 years having wedded in 1977. They were living in Cardiff at the time of Mrs Drakeford's passing.

    No cause of death is yet known.

    Clare is understood to have been "vulnerable" leading to the pair being separated for much of the pandemic in an effort to "keep her safe".

    At one point, in an act of incredible commitment to his wife, Mr Drakeford is understood to have isolated himself in a garden shed on his property to keep his wife protected.

    Speaking at the time he said: "The nature of my job is that I am out meeting people all the time and undoubtedly, I am a risk to them.

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    "So since the beginning of this, they have been living in the house. I have been living in the hut at the bottom of the garden."

    Speaking to ITV Wales at the time he said: "I’ve been married for a very long time and not to be in the house and to be at a physical distance, even though we saw each other every day and talked every day, it was a puzzling experience in that sort of way and for that to be over it is a bit emotional for everybody.”

    The leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, said on Twitter: "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."

    Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: "My thoughts are with the First Minister and his family at this very difficult time.

    "On behalf of everyone in the Welsh Liberal Democrats, I extend our deepest condolences to Mark, his family and friends.”

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