Former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford announced Monday he will be running for the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.
Brown has denied all allegations and they have not been proven in court.
Ford told reporters during his brief statement that he has been “deeply troubled” by the events that are unfolding in the party and said “right now the party needs strong leadership, someone who is ready to clean up this mess and lead us into the June election.”
“This is why I am announcing that I’m running for the leadership of our Ontario PC Party and to be the next premier of this great province.”
Rick Dykstra also stepped down from his role as president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario Sunday night, a position that he has held since early 2016. Dykstra’s announcement came just hours before Maclean’s Magazine published allegations that he was accused of sexually assaulting a young Conservative staffer in 2014, when he was a federal MP.
Those allegations have not been proven in court.
Ford did not take any questions from the media, stating he will answer questions in the coming days.
“I love Ontario and I love the PC party, the party my family has been devoted to for decades,” Ford told reporters. “The PC party is the onyl one that can defeat the Wynne government and put Ontario back on the right path.
“I have been fighting for the people of this province on the front-lines. Supporting the party in by-elections, working with nominated candidates and knocking on doors across Ontario.”
Ford declared his intention last September to run against Toronto Mayor John Tory in 2018’s municipal election.
Ford ran unsuccessfully for mayor against Tory in 2014, finishing second by more than 64,000 votes. Ford entered the mayor’s race later in the campaign after his brother Rob Ford was forced to withdraw due to health issues.
The former councillor said that the “elites” of the PC party do not want him to run.
“But I am here to give you a voice, the hardworking taxpayers of this province. People who have been ignored for far too long.”
Ford said he will be throwing a rally Saturday night at the Toronto Congress Centre.
“I invite everyone to come, family and friends, we’re going to have a great time.”
–With files from Rahul Kalvapalle and Nick Westoll