Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown has resigned following sexual misconduct allegations
On Wednesday evening, CTV reported two women had come forward accusing the leader of “graphic sexual misconduct” allegations that date back to when he was a federal MP.
Immediately following the reports, Brown held a brief press conference denying the allegations, but initially didn’t resign.
But early Thursday morning, Brown released a statement saying he has decided to step down.
“These allegations are false and have been difficult to hear,” Brown said. “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.”
While his resignation came on Thursday, the majority of Brown’s team had resigned from their positions after the news first broke on Wednesday.
Campaign Manager Andrew Boddington, Chief of Staff Alykhan Velshi, and Deputy Campaign Manager Dan Robertson released a joint statement saying that they resigned shortly after the allegations surfaced.
Joint statement from Andrew Boddington, Alykhan Velshi (@avelshi), and Dan Robertson (@pdrobertson) pic.twitter.com/VVNnWzwXTr
— Alykhan Velshi (@avelshi) January 25, 2018
Nick Bergamini, PC Party Press Secretary, also resigned following the allegations.
This evening I learned of allegations against Patrick Brown. As a result, it is in the best interest of the PC Party that he step down immediately.
As he has chosen to follow a different route, I am resigning as the PC Party Press Secretary.
— Nick Bergamini (@nickbergamini) January 25, 2018
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who recently sued Patrick Brown over defamation, commended the young women for coming forward with their stories and added that sexual harassment and assault is “never okay”.
It’s a difficult and brave thing to do to come forward in the way these young women have done tonight. My government and I have been clear on the issue of sexual harassment and assault. In fact our policy and our ad were called “It’s Never Okay”.
— Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) January 25, 2018
In Brown’s resignation, he said that Wynne “repeatedly made reckless decisions and put insiders ahead of the people,” and said that he looks forward to working with his successor.
“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.”