Conservative candidates facing sex assault allegations won’t be allowed to run

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer speaks out on latest sexual assault allegations

The latest on developments related to Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives, whose former president faces sex assault allegations (all times local):

1 p.m.

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says any candidate for his party would not be allowed to run if they were facing allegations of sexual assault.

Scheer says he can’t comment on a decision by party officials during the 2015 campaign to allow Ontario MP Rick Dykstra to remain on the ballot despite knowing he had been accused of sexual assault.

A report by Maclean’s magazine claims the party was aware of an allegation of sexual assault against Dykstra.

Dykstra lost his seat in the election and became president of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party, a position from which he resigned over the weekend just hours before the Maclean’s story was published.

———

12:05 p.m.

Former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford says he’s joining the race to succeed Patrick Brown as the leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives.

RELATED: Ontario Tory Leader Patrick Brown resigning amid allegations about conduct

Brown resigned last week, just hours after two women accused him of sexual misconduct — allegations he emphatically called false.

Ford is the brother of notorious former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, who died in 2016.

Doug Ford says he intends on running a positive campaign and will give a voice to hardworking people in the province.

____

11:30 a.m.

Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives have appointed a new president after the abrupt resignation of former party chief Rick Dykstra.

Jag Badwal, a long time PC party activist, has been named party president after Dykstra resigned Sunday night, hours before Maclean’s magazine reported allegations of sexual assault against him related to a 2014 incident. The allegations have not been verified by The Canadian Press.

Badwal announced via social media that he had assumed the post.

He did not mention the turmoil that brought him to the job, focusing instead on the coming spring election.

Before Dykstra’s resignation, Badwal served as the party’s first-vice president, one of the top jobs on the party’s executive.

Dykstra has not responded to requests for comment on the allegations reported by Maclean’s. The magazine reported he was accused of sexually assaulting a young Conservative staffer in 2014, when he was an MP.

___

The Canadian Press

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