QUEENS PARK – Patrick Brown has resigned as the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. The decision comes hours after Brown was accused of what are being called serious sexual misconduct allegations.
In a statement issued by Brown, the former leader says, “These allegations are false and have been difficult to hear.
“However, defeating Kathleen Wynne in 2018 is more important than one individual.
“For this reason, after consulting with caucus, friends and family I have decided to step down as Leader of the Ontario PC Party. I will remain on as a MPP while I definitively clear my name from these false allegations.
“Over the past three years I have led a major transformation of our party taking it from 12,000 to 200,000 members, fundraised more money than any provincial party in Canadian history, and recruited some of the most qualified and diverse candidates in the history of our party. I have developed a pragmatic and winning campaign platform after a historically comprehensive policy process.
“These important building blocks are essential for defeating Kathleen Wynne this year and her tired government that has repeatedly made reckless decisions and put insiders ahead of the people.
“I’m confident the president of our party and caucus will convene an expedited process to elect my successor who I look forward to working with.”
The move by Brown came following the resignations of his Chief of Staff, and leaders of the PC Party Election Campaign team.
PC Party Deputy leaders Deputy Leaders Sylvia Jones and Steve Clark in a statement said, “In the interest of the Ontario PC Party we unanimously agree that Mr. Brown cannot continue serving as the Leader. Mr. Brown is entitled to a legal defense and due process, but he cannot lead us into an election as a result of these allegations.
“The Ontario PC Party unequivocally upholds the principle that a safe and respectful society is what we expect and deserve. We need to move forward to eradicate sexual violence and harassment across the province. Our caucus will immediately consult with party officials and members on the best way to move forward to defeat the Wynne Liberals in the 2018 (election). We will not be diverted from our mission to ensure our strong team can share our message of change.”