Patrick Brown announced early Thursday morning he has stepped down as Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader after being accused by two women of sexual misconduct.
During a Wednesday night press conference, Brown, 39, denied the allegations after a CTV report said two women had come forward with graphic sexual misconduct accusations against the politician when he was a federal MP.
The women haven’t been named, and the allegations haven’t been proven in court.
Here’s what Brown said to the media late Wednesday.
“Ladies and gentlemen, a couple of hours ago I learned about troubling allegations about my conduct and character, and I’m here tonight to address them. First, I want to say these allegations are false. Categorically untrue, every one of them.
WATCH: Patrick Brown resigns amid sexual misconduct allegations
“I will defend myself as hard as I can, with all means at my disposal. It’s never ok for anyone to feel they have been a victim of sexual harassment or feel threatened in any way. Let me make this clear, a safe and respectful society is what we expect and deserve. No one appreciates that more than I do, I’ve got two younger sisters who are my best friends. I’ve grown up in a family that has taught me good values. My values and beliefs are those that we need to move forward to eradicate sexual violence and harassment across the province, across the country, everywhere.
“I know the court of public opinion moves fast, I’ve instructed my attorneys to ensure these allegations are addressed where they should be, in the court of law. In short, I reject these accusations in the strongest possible terms, it’s not my values, it’s not how I was raised, it is not who I am,” Brown said.
WATCH: Wynne addresses Brown allegations: sexual harassment ‘never OK’
It wasn’t until around 1:30 a.m. that Brown announced he was stepping down as party leader. Here’s his full statement:
“These allegations are false and have been difficult to hear.
“However, defeating Kathleen Wynne in 2018 is more important than one individual.
“For this reason, after consulting with caucus, friends and family I have decided to step down as Leader of the Ontario PC Party. I will remain on as a MPP while I definitively clear my name from these false allegations.
“Over the past three years I have led a major transformation of our party taking it from 12,000 to 200,000 members, fundraised more money than any provincial party in Canadian history, and recruited some of the most qualified and diverse candidates in the history of our party. I have developed a pragmatic and winning campaign platform after a historically comprehensive policy process.
WATCH: Andrea Horwath says Patrick Brown should resign MPP seat
“These important building blocks are essential for defeating Kathleen Wynne this year and her tired government that has repeatedly made reckless decisions and put insiders ahead of the people.
“I’m confident the president of our party and caucus will convene an expedited process to elect my successor who I look forward to working with.”
Brown was elected as Ontario PC Party leader in 2015.
Before this, he served as a Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Simcoe North. He worked as a lawyer in Barrie before running for office.