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Brown won't be at Ontario legislature Tuesday to take his seat: report

Last Updated Feb 20, 2018 at 9:10 am EDT

Ontario Conservative leadership candidate Patrick Brown addresses supporters and the media in Toronto on Feb. 18, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

As the Ontario legislature resumes sitting Tuesday for the final session before a spring election, former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown says he won’t be there to take his seat.

The 39-year-old politician from Barrie told the radio station CKLW in Windsor this morning that he’ll be outside of Toronto, campaigning to regain party leadership.

But once he gets back to the legislature, Brown will have to sit as an independent after being booted out of the Tory caucus last week — just hours before he declared his intention to run for his old job.

Brown stepped down from the leadership late last month amid allegations of sexual misconduct, but has since mounted a campaign to clear his name.

He has threatened to sue CTV News, which reported the allegations, but the network has said it stands by its reporting.

Brown’s entry into the leadership race threatens to overshadow his opponents — Toronto lawyer Caroline Mulroney, former Toronto councillor Doug Ford, former Tory legislator Christine Elliott and social conservative activist Tanya Granic Allen.

Online voting takes place early next month, with the winner to be announced March 10.

The Tory turmoil comes as all three parties gear up for a general election set for June 7.

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