Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown resigns following sexual misconduct allegations

(By: Sherina Harris)

Patrick Brown has stepped down as the leader of Ontario’s PC party following sexual misconduct allegations first reported by CTV News.

In an unexpected press conference at Queen’s Park Wednesday evening, Brown denied the allegations, which he said were “categorically untrue.” Hours later, facing pressure from Conservative caucus members, he issued a statement announcing his resignation.

“These allegations are false and have been difficult to hear. However, defeating Kathleen Wynne in 2018 is more important than one individual,” he said.

“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.”

Prior to Brown’s resignation, his chief of staff, campaign manager and deputy campaign manager resigned.

“It’s a difficult and brave thing to do to come forward in the way these young women have done tonight,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said on Twitter. Wynne added that she and her government “have been clear on the issue of sexual harassment and assault.”

Andrea Horwath, Ontario’s NDP leader, had called for Brown to resign in a statement posted to social media.

“He deserves his day in court, but no person can lead a political party in this province with allegations like these hanging over his head,” she said.

(Header image: Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)

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