Tim Hudak will step down as PC leader on July 2

TORONTO – Tim Hudak will officially step down as leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives on July 2, the day the legislature returns under a Liberal majority government.

The Canadian Press has learned Hudak sent a letter to Tory caucus members Wednesday announcing he would step down for the good of the party and the good of his family.

The Conservatives lost nine seats in last week’s election, and some of those who were re-elected complained at a caucus meeting Monday that they wanted Hudak to leave immediately.

However, a party insider speaking on background says a “significant portion” of the caucus wanted Hudak to stay on for up to a year while a new leader was selected, and he didn’t want to stick around that long.

Hudak’s chief of staff, Ian Robertson, says some in caucus want to “moderate” the Conservatives’ message about the urgent need for fiscal restraint because of the $12.5 billion deficit and record debt, but Hudak disagrees with that approach.

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After he lost the election last Thursday, Hudak announced he would not lead the Conservatives into the next election, but would remain the MPP for Niagara West-Glanbrook.