Clare Drakeford: Tributes pour in as wife of Wales’ FM Mark Drakeford dies suddenly
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Clare Drakeford, the wife of Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has died suddenly. A spokesperson for the Welsh government confirmed the news saying: "The thoughts of everyone in the Welsh government are with the family at this time and we ask that their privacy is respected."
Clare and Mark married in 1977, and have lived together in Cardiff for the last 30 years. The couple have three adult children together.
Tributes have been pouring in from across the political spectrum. PM Rishi Sunak said he had offered his condolences privately. Posting to Twitter, he wrote: "Incredibly sad to hear about the sudden death of Clare Drakeford.
"I know how committed Mark and Clare were to each other. I can’t imagine the pain Mark and his family will now be feeling."
The leader of the opposition Keir Starmer said: “I’m deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Clare Drakeford. On behalf of the whole Labour Party, I send our deepest condolences to Mark and all the family. They are all in our thoughts and prayers.”
During the pandemic, Drakeford said he lived in a building in the family’s garden in order to keep his “vulnerable” wife and mother-in-law safe. A family man, he spoke about how difficult the pandemic was for him as his wife, who was in one of the four top vaccination priority groups, caught the virus.
He has also spoken about being hesitant to run for FM due to the commitment and the impact it could have on his family.
The Prince and Princess of Wales also offered their condolences on Twitter, writing: "Sending our thoughts and prayers to Mark Drakeford and his family."
First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon also extended her sympathies saying: “My thoughts are with Mark and his family at this terribly sad time. 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.”
Tributes have come in from former prime ministers Gordon Brown and Boris Johnson, the latter calling the death “terrible news”. Leaders of the Welsh Conservatives and Lib Dems, as well as representatives from Ireland and Northern Ireland also took to Twitter to offer their sympathies to Mr Drakeford.