Patrick Brown was booted from his bid to become leader of the federal Conservatives because his campaign allegedly broke fundraising rules by accepting corporate donations, Rebel News has learned.
It appears that Brown’s disqualification is linked in part to improprieties surrounding the way his campaign funded travel and hired staff.
“The party is alleging expenses for Brown’s leadership campaign were being funded by two corporate entities — possibly numbered companies — including to pay for staff and for travel expenses,” Rebel News was told by a source with knowledge of the Conservative Leadership Election Organizing Committee’s investigation into Brown.
Party rules and federal election laws stipulate campaigns cannot accept corporate donations but must be funded by individual donations.
The source, who spoke on condition they would not be identified, said the news was a bombshell but many connected to leadership campaigns knew something was up.
“All campaigns got full preliminary party membership lists last Thursday (June 30) but Brown didn’t and he didn’t push back on this at the time — not a peep — so something was up,” said the source.
The source said the man heading up the party’s leadership organizing committee, Ian Brodie, a former Stephen Harper chief of staff, is highly respected “and Ian wouldn't agree to disqualify a candidate unless there was irrefutable evidence.”
The source said the disqualification came after “the party had been asked by Elections Canada to corroborate some evidence it received. Apparently Brown’s campaign told the party ‘to piss off.’ ”
The source said that these allegations “sound a lot more serious than what happened to Dean Del Mastro,” a Conservative MP who wound up in jail for contravening Elections Canada laws.
The Tuesday night bombshell news from the party's leadership election organizing committee said Brown, who is currently the mayor of Brampton, Ont., was being disqualified from the race after "serious allegations of wrongdoing" related to financing rules.
"We regret having to take these steps but we have an obligation to ensure that both our party's rules and federal law are respected by all candidates and campaign teams," said the statement from Brodie.
Brown’s campaign said in a statement that the disqualification is an attempt to ensure rival, Pierre Poilievre, wins the race and it will fight the issue in court.
The original statement of disqualification can be found here.