WATCH: Patrick Brown accuses Poilievre campaign of ‘bullying tactics’ following elimination from CPC leadership

Brampton Mayor and recently disqualified candidate for Conservative leadership Patrick Brown told CPAC that Pierre Poilievre’s campaign used bullying tactics to get him eliminated from the race.

“The party said it had an anonymous allegation that someone on our campaign was being paid by a corporation. We asked for a name of the business, a name of the individual, they wouldn’t provide that. So it was an impossible request to respond to, it was like responding to a phantom.”

“The fact that it would go to the extraordinary length to disqualify my candidacy is incredible, and frankly this disenfranchises the more than 150,000 Canadians that we signed up on this leadership campaign from very diverse communities, from areas of the country that the party needs to grow. It’s a slap in the face to democracy in the party, and it’s wrong.

“And we know where this is coming from. This is Pierre Poilievre’s campaign. They’re the ones who were lobbying LEOC to do this, just like they lobbied caucus to fire Ed Fast for supporting Jean Charest or they threatened to kick Michelle Rempel out of caucus for supporting my candidacy, This is Pierre Poilievre’s campaign continuing their bullying tactics, and it’s disappointing to see democracy in the party damaged like this.”

Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC) Chair Ian Brodie said that the party “regret[s] having to take these steps but we have an obligation to ensure that both our Party’s Rules and federal law are respected by all candidates and campaign teams.”

“Throughout the investigation into these allegations, the Chief Returning Officer and I have done our best to be fair to the Patrick Brown leadership campaign and provide them with the time they need to substantively refute these allegations… None of these problems has any impact on the integrity of the vote itself,” they said.

Brodie said that there are credible allegations that the Patrick Brown campaign violated the Canada Elections Act, with sources saying that at least one corporation has been paying for Brown’s expenses.

“This decision is based on anonymous allegations. Our campaign was never provided with the full details or evidence of these allegations, failing an even basic requirement of due process,” Brown’s campaign said in response to the accusations.

“Why is the party doing this? It was expecting a coronation for Pierre Poilievre. When the final membership numbers came in, it became clear Poilievre did not have the points to win this race,” Brown’s campaign said.

They say that the party is moving to “silence Canadians and skirt democratic values” by disqualifying Brown to “ensure [Poilievre’s] victory was secured.”

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