Patrick Brown Out Of PC Leadership Race

Former Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader Patrick Brown is dropping out of the race to fill the job he left at the end of January.

Brown was a last minute inclusion in the leadership contest after resigning following allegations of sexual misconduct reported by CTV News.

After resigning on January 25, Brown emerged weeks later declaring his named had been cleared of the allegations after a series of social media posts.

Brown has since launched a libel suit against CTV News along with anchor Lisa LaFlamme and the reporters behind the original story.

CTV News has said it stands by its story.

In a statement released by Brown today, he points to three reasons for his decision to no longer stand as a PC Party leadership candidate — to focus on holding CTV accountable, to push the remaining candidates on policy and to protect his family and friends.

In Brown's statement, he says he wanted to "stand up to my political adversaries who perpetrated this political assassination" as he seems to blame "backroom strategists" at Queen's Park for dictating democracy.

Brown stressed he could not "square off against Kathleen Wynne" in the upcoming election while also "continuing my fight to prove that the allegations are lies."

Brown also points to his participation in the leadership race as a distraction "for some" and ends his statement by stressing he would continue to fight for a "PC Party that unites people" while professing his love for Ontario and Canada.

The decision to drop out of the race comes just days after Brown visited to Windsor to help launch local PC candidate Mohammed Latif's campaign office.

There are now four people running for the leadership of the PC Party: Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Caroline Mulroney and Tanya Granic Allen.