UPDATE: PC MPP apologizes for "inappropriate conversation"
An Ontario Progressive Conservative legislator has been removed from caucus and disqualified from running for re-election under the Tory banner after facing sexual harassment allegations from a former intern.
In a statement issued today, the Tories say the decision to oust Michael Harris followed evidence the party received on Friday that included a written complaint from a former intern dating back to 2013.
The party says they also obtained a series of text messages ``of a sexual nature'' between the intern and Harris, which included a request for her to send him photos, an invitation for her to meet with him late at night and a reference to something that may have taken place in his office at Queen's Park.
The statement says Harris was asked about the issue and only denied that a formal complaint was ever made.
Harris spoke with CP24 on Monday afternoon, admitting to what he called an "inappropriate conversation" over BBM, six years ago.
"I've apologized for that inapproriate conversation. I've always prided myself to have a strong working relationship, professional, free of any harrassment at my place of work at Queen's Park." says Harris.
He also says his wife knew about the conversation and they "dealt with it then."
The Tories say their nominations committee reviewed the evidence and unanimously decided to bar Harris from seeking re-election in his riding of Kitchener-Conestoga.
They say the party also decided to remove him from caucus effective immediately.
The allegations come months after the Tories' former leader, Patrick Brown, resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct, which he has consistently denied.
Please see my statement below: pic.twitter.com/GZc6yfD1aA— Michael Harris (@Michaelharrispc) April 7, 2018