WATCH: MP Eve Adams and her boyfriend Dimitri Soudas, who was fired as head of the Conservative Party for abusing his position and trying to influence the Tory nomination race she is running in, speak to Global News about the controversy. Vassy Kapelos reports.
OTTAWA – Long-time Conservative aide Dimitri Soudas is extending an apology to Prime Minister Stephen Harper for the fallout from his involvement with the nomination of his fiancée, MP Eve Adams.
“I’m sorry for what happened to the prime minister, but he also knows me well, he knows what kind of a loyal guy I am, because he received that loyalty for more than a decade,” Soudas said in an interview with Global News at his home in Oakville, Ont.
“I can only be loyal to one person at a time, and that person was Eve.”
Soudas resigned from his job as the Conservative Party’s executive director in March, following allegations he used party resources to help with Adams’ campaign in Oakville North-Burlington.
“If there’s one good thing about me I’d say it’s loyalty. And my loyalty to her is eternal and I would do it all over again,” Soudas said.
As for Adams, Soudas said he “she’s a very smart woman, and we need more women in politics.”
The race in the new riding of Oakville North-Burlington has proved bitter. Both Adams, the sitting MP for Mississauga-Brampton South and her rival, chiropractor Natalia Lishchyna, have accused each other of wrongdoing in the campaign.
READ MORE: Who is Tory MP Eve Adams?
The federal Conservatives have even postponed the nomination in the Toronto-area riding to review the complaints.
Lishchyna’s supporters have complained that Adams’ campaign has been involved in shady dealings over party memberships. And Adams’ camp says Lishchyna’s used “bullying” phone calls, saying they run afoul of CRTC rules.
Adams, seated next to Soudas in their Oakville home, said she has run a positive campaign amid attacks from her challenger.
“I’ve run four times, long before Dimitri and I were together, and each and every time I’ve won. I stand on my own two feet,” she said.
“It makes for interesting television to see a family fighting. And that’s very, very unfortunate, but I think Canadians are smarter than that, and certainly the voters in Oakville North-Burlington are smarter than that.”
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Adams categorically denied that she was involved in any unethical dealings with party memberships.
She said there were five people who agreed to sign up as Conservative supporters, and filled out and signed a form. But they didn’t have money to pay for a membership and asked the Adams campaign to return.
“When we returned they said they were no longer interested in being party members. We said no problem, and we made sure that the party did not include them,” Adams said, adding that she has sold 1,500 party memberships.
Soudas accused the Lishchyna campaign of “voter suppression calls,” which the Lishchyna camp denies.
“I can assure you that neither I, nor anyone on my campaign team, have broken any CRTC rules. Or any other campaign, party, or Election Canada rules either,” Lishchyna told The Canadian Press.
Lishchyna also questioned why Adams would drop the riding she holds to try for a nomination in new riding.
EXTENDED: Eve Adams and Dimitri Soudas sit down with Global News to try and set the record straight
* With files from the Canadian Press