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EXCLUSIVE

Tim Hudak to leave PC leader's job on July 2

By Christina Blizzard, Special to the Sun

Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak announced he is stepping down as leader Thursday night after defeat  in the provincial election on June 12 2014. (Bob Tymczyszyn/QMI Agency)

Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak announced he is stepping down as leader Thursday night after defeat in the provincial election on June 12 2014. (Bob Tymczyszyn/QMI Agency)

Tim Hudak will step down as PC leader effective July 2, the Toronto Sun has learned.

Ending days of speculation about his future, Hudak sent a letter to members of his caucus Wednesday saying that for the good of the party and the good of his family, he’ll step down sooner rather than later.

The Legislature returns July 2 and a party executive meeting is planned for July 5, when it’s expected they will set out plans for a convention.

Contrary to earlier reports this week, Hudak staffers say it was not the leader who wanted to stay on, but caucus members wanting a longer leadership process than he had anticipated.

Hudak had expected an early leadership convention and was prepared to stay on as leader until it was over, rather than put have the party appoint an interim leader and go through the turmoil of having three leaders within a short space of time.

However, at an emotional caucus meeting Monday, there was a strong feeling that MPPs wanted a longer leadership campaign in order to have the party go through a more strenuous renewal process.

“When Tim announced he would he would be stepping down upon selection of a new leader on election night, he did so under the belief there would be a fast transition to the new leader,” Hudak’s chief of staff Ian Robertson said Wednesday. “That was the plan he took into caucus.”

A large part of caucus wanted a longer campaign, he said.

Hudak did not want to stay on as leader through a prolonged leadership campaign. That’s why he stepping aside.

“Tim remained committed to his belief that a sooner-rather-than-later process was better for the party, but a significant portion of caucus was more interested in a longer timeline,” Robertson said.

After a disastrous election outcome last Thursday, Hudak announced he would not lead the party into the next election.

Hudak will stay on as MPP for Niagara West-Glanbrook.


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