Published: Fri, March 02, 2018
Finance | By Gustavo Carr

NewsAlert:Patrick Brown ends bid to reclaim Ont. Tory leadership: party official

NewsAlert:Patrick Brown ends bid to reclaim Ont. Tory leadership: party official

January 24: Patrick Brown calls a last-minute news conference to deny a pending news report about sexual misconduct, and decry them as "categorically untrue".

The former leader then joined the race to replace himself on February 16, saying he had helped grow the party to unprecedented levels and should be the one to lead it into the province's upcoming election.

Now that Brown has quit the race for leadership of the Ontario PC party, the race comes down to Mulroney, ex-Toronto councillor Doug Ford, MPP Christine Elliott, and social conservative activist Tanya Granic Allen.

The last five weeks for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (PC Party) have been full of twists, turns, and more drama than most believed possible.

Hartley Lefton, the chair of the party's leadership election organizing committee, says he has received a letter from Brown announcing his withdrawal from the race.

Brown's departure plunged the Tories into chaos, exposing a deep rift between the party executive, which kicked him out of caucus, and the base. Brown has filed a notice of libel against the news outlet.

Notwithstanding the questions raised about CTV's reporting of the sexual misconduct allegations, in this time of #metoo, it was inevitable that these allegations would be reported by the media.

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He has strenuously denied those allegations, is suing the network for libel and claimed that his name had been cleared when some holes were knocked in the women's stories. He openly challenges the veracity of CTV's reporting on the original story and points out discrepancies in the women's accounts that he says prove their accusations are false.

Brown's former girl friend Mikaela Patterson, in an interview with CBC News, has rubbished allegations made by one of the two accusers, media reports said.

A source tells the Toronto Sun that Brown confided to his closest advisers on Sunday night that he was withdrawing from the leadership race.

"I can take a punch, but it stings when it is unfairly directed at the people I love instead of me", Brown said in his statement.

The Star ran a story last week featuring comments from Genevieve Gualtieri, Brown's 23-year-old girlfriend who worked in his Parliament Hill office when he was a Conservative MP and later at Queen's Park.

Brown called for an apology and retraction. However, Hillier has filed a complaint over Brown's personal finances with Ontario's Integrity Commissioner.

Shortly after Brown stepped down, the party called a leadership contest to replace him, with voting scheduled to start Friday and end March 8, the result to be announced March. 10.

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