nuttall_thumb This article is more than 3 years old

Conservative MP: Patrick Brown’s Downfall was an ‘Inside Job’ Orchestrated by Tory ‘Elites’

Conservative MP Alex Nuttall claims ‘Toronto elites’ are hijacking Ontario PCs and ‘circumventing democracy’

A sitting Conservative MP is claiming the downfall of Patrick Brown was an “inside job” – and he’s blaming conservative “elites.”

Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives were thrown into disarray last week after two young women accused Brown of sexually assaulting them while he was an MP. After initially signalling he wanted to remain PC leader, Brown resigned hours later in the middle of the night.

Speaking to reporters before a caucus meeting at Parliament Hill, Conservative MP Alex Nuttall struck a conspiratorial tone tearing into his provincial counterparts.

“This in fact was an inside job that transpired over the past week,” Nuttall told reporters without providing any evidence.

“Within 48 hours of the events, we had 28 elites whose ridings represent less than 1% of the 200,000 members of the PC Party of Ontario, trying to appoint the next premier of the party of Ontario, circumventing democracy.”

Nuttall also alleged party “elites” are now rigging the upcoming PC leadership race by purging members on the basis of their “race” and “faith”:

“Now today we’ve seen they’ve doubled down, seeking to expel tens of thousands of paid memberships of the PC Party of Ontario. Well folks, I have a message for the Toronto elites and it is this: That the conservative movement should never and can never define people by their race, by their faith, and by what region of the world they come from, by their first or last name.”

On Tuesday, interim PC leader Vic Fideli ordered an investigation into the legitimacy of tens of thousands of new party memberships added during Brown’s time as party leader, vowing to “root out the rot” in the PC party.

During the 2015 Ontario PC leadership race, Brown’s “ethnic outreach team” worked aggressively to recruit new party members in immigrant communities – the team later took credit for Brown winning the PC leadership.

In 2014, Brown endorsed Nuttall’s nomination for the riding of Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte, calling him a “a close friend, supporter, and adviser to me for 11 years.”

Asked in a 2016 questionnaire “who were your political role model(s) growing up?,” Nuttall replied: “Patrick Brown.”

Alex Nuttall, Facebook

Grassroots anger has been building within the ranks of Ontario’s PCs for some time.

During the final year or so of Brown’s leadership, rejected candidates, riding association members and grassroots members repeatedly accused party insiders of cheating, ballot-stuffing and the outright rigging of local nomination contests.

Two months ago, Hamilton police announced they were investigating allegations of voter fraud at a nomination meeting chaired by former PC party president Rick Dykstra. Last week, Dykstra also resigned after Maclean’s reported allegations that he sexually assaulted a Conservative Party staffer when he was an MP in 2014.

A long list of PC riding nomination scandals

As PressProgress previously reported in August, more than a dozen PC riding associations across Ontario have been rocked by controversial nomination meetings:


Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.

Journalism is an important public service. That’s why PressProgress is prioritizing stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can keep making a positive impact for Canadians.


Support Our Journalism
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

worker Explainer

Ontario PC MPP Floats Idea of Replacing Teachers With Pre-Recorded Videos To Cut Education Costs

Related Stories


Neo-Nazi was a Guest at a Swanky Fundraising Dinner for a Right-Wing Charity That Tried to Dig Up Dirt on a Canadian Judge

View the post

Conservative Candidate Says He’s ‘Willing to Work’ With Far-Right Anti-Lockdown Politicians Despite ‘Party Differences’

View the post

Company Hired to Manage Ontario’s COVID-19 School Reopening Highlighted Business Opportunities for Private Education Providers

View the post


Work & rights

Liz Walker and Shanice Regis-Wilkins

What Is Sectoral Bargaining and How Can It Help Canada’s Working Class?

View the post

Emma Arkell

Why Is The Pandemic’s Economic Harm Disproportionately Impacting Young Women?

View the post
Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Canada is Holding an Emergency Summit to Take Action Against Islamophobia. Here’s What’s at Stake for Canadian Muslims.

View the post