After holding an emergency press conference at 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday night to address sexual misconduct allegations, now former-Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario Leader Patrick Brown barrage of questions from reporters, a slew of campaign staff resigning and caucus members calling for his resignation. By 1:30 a formal statement from PC Leader Patrick Brown was released.
“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.”
— David Hains (@DavidHains) January 25, 2018
— Caroline Mulroney (@C_Mulroney) January 25, 2018
Having learned of these allegations earlier this evening, I have made the decision to join my colleagues and friends by stepping aside from the campaign in my role as Deputy Campaign Manager. https://t.co/9w3LZsJ0Qr
— Joshua Workman (@JAW_80) January 25, 2018
— Robert Benzie (@robertbenzie) January 25, 2018
1/4 This evening, we learned of disturbing allegations leveled against Patrick Brown. The Ontario PC Caucus unanimously agrees that Mr. Brown cannot continue serving as the Leader.
— Victor Fedeli (@VictorFedeli) January 25, 2018
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne also commented on Twitter without mentioning Brown by name and also plugging her government ads.
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
Political analysts scrambling to look at the Ontario PC constitution were unsure if the PCs will now have to run an interim leader or will be able to elect another leader of the party in time for the June 7 election.
Oh I’m not sure she or Andrea would want a new leader experiencing a honeymoon just as the writ drops. https://t.co/CZUgjfUFzM
— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) January 25, 2018