Brown says conservative establishment and Poilievre campaign successfully ousted him from leadership race


Patrick Brown says members of the Conservative Party establishment and supporters of leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre worked to disqualify him from the leadership race because they feared his progressive approach to conservatism would win.

« The party establishment was worried that Pierre Poilievre wouldn’t win. And his supporters, the supporters of Pierre Poilievre, are behind this disqualification, » Patrick Brown told host Vassy Kapelos on CBC News Network. Political power Wednesday.

« They know we brought in 150,000 new, highly motivated conservatives from diverse communities. They wanted to take the party on a different version, a different path, than its version of extreme conservatism. »

Brown said his decision to take positions « the party had not taken before » made some party members « uncomfortable » and provoked a backlash against him.

« I said very clearly, it doesn’t matter who you love, where you were born, the color of your skin, what God you worship. We will fight for everyone. I said I will attend the parades of pride, I would challenge Islamophobia,” he said.

Brown was expelled from the Conservative Party leadership race on Tuesday night by the party’s Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC). The committee said Brown, the mayor of Brampton, Ont., was dropped from the race in response to « serious allegations of wrongdoing » related to funding rules.

The LEOC’s vote was 11 to 6, according to sources familiar with the decision.

Sources told CBC News there are allegations that at least one company paid some of Brown’s campaign workers. The sources said the LEOC’s decision to disqualify Brown was based on more than just verbal allegations and cited documents and financial records.

The sources said Brown’s campaign was made aware of the allegations verbally last Wednesday and then by a formal letter – in accordance with party leadership contest rules – on Thursday. Brown’s campaign responded to that letter on Friday.

WATCH: Patrick Brown speaks out after his disqualification from the Tory leadership race

Patrick Brown speaks out after his disqualification from the Tory leadership race

In an interview with CBC’s Vassy Kapelos, Brown said the allegations against his campaign amounted to a targeted attack by other candidates in the race.

When pressed by Kapelos to provide evidence to support his claim that Poilievre’s team was behind his ousting, Brown claimed the Ontario LEOC MP’s supporters were pushing for his disqualification.

« On top of that, members of Pierre’s campaign had even communicated to my campaign chairman, John Reynolds, that they were going to be successful in pursuing this, » Brown told Kapelos.

Reynolds told CBC News that as Brown’s campaign chairman, he would have expected the party to contact him about the issue, rather than letting him learn about it through the media.

« But over a week ago I heard from one of Pierre Poilievre’s campaigners that this was going to happen, » he said. « This person asked me to come to his side and join us when it happened. »

« Phantom Allegation »

Poilievre’s campaign released a statement saying Brown had been dropped from the race due to « credible » accusations and rejecting his claim that the MP’s supporters scuttled his campaign.

« As always, when caught, Patrick tries to pose as a victim, but ultimately the only person responsible for his disqualification is himself. »

Brown said that although he was presented with allegations that a member of his campaign was being paid by a private company, he was not provided with details that would allow his team to conduct its own investigation or properly respond to concerns. charges.

“We had 1,800 volunteers working across the country, and we told the party that we had no idea who this anonymous allegation was,” he said. “If someone was working on our campaign during working hours on behalf of a company, we would take care of it immediately.

« But really, we’ve been put in a position where we have to respond to a nameless, phantom allegation with no details, and that’s impossible to do. »

More transparency demanded

Conservative strategist Shakir Chambers, director of Earnscliffe Strategies, told CBC News that Brown’s ejection from the race was shocking and would likely make it easier for Poilievre to win in the first round.

He also said he wanted to hear the details of the allegations against Brown before party members begin voting.

“More transparency would be better,” he said. « I think if people could actually find out what’s going on, it would help remove any division or any questions that somehow follow this story and persist for weeks. »

Meanwhile, five Brampton city councilors released a statement on Wednesday alleging that Brown hired staff and gave contracts to companies that were underqualified but had close ties to the mayor himself.

« Democracy in Brampton is under siege because of Patrick Brown, » the statement read. « It’s time to expose the truth and help us protect the hard-working taxpayers of Brampton. »

Brown said the five advisers released the statement at the request of Poilievre’s campaign in an effort to « create disruption in Brampton, » and that the allegations in the statement have already been addressed.

« It was investigated by Deloitte, » Brown said. « I have supported the investigation and Deloitte has found no wrongdoing. These are allegations against our former CEO and I am glad there has been an investigation. I am glad the complaints have been rejected. »


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