January 30, 2018 9:58 pm
Updated: January 31, 2018 3:02 am

Todd Stone campaign accused of illegal signups in BC Liberal leadership race

Two days before the B.C. Liberals are set to begin voting for a new leader, a grenade has been thrown into the middle of the leadership race. Keith Baldrey reports from Victoria.

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BC Liberal leadership candidate Todd Stone is facing a serious accusation from four of his rivals.

A letter signed by campaign staffers for Andrew Wilkinson, Michael Lee, Dianne Watts and Mike de Jong said the rules committee and executive council of the BC Liberals had recently met to discuss “invalid or rejected memberships collected by the Todd Stone leadership campaign.”

Globalnews.ca coverage of the BC Liberal leadership race:

The letter went on to demand the “disclosure of the specific nature of the allegations heard at these meetings, any and all decisions or conclusions, and any resulting remedies or penalties arising from these meetings.”

If the Liberals did not respond by Tuesday afternoon, “our only remaining option will be to raise these issues with the media,” the letter said.

READ MORE: BC Liberal candidates square off in final leadership debate

“Given that all campaigns have paid a $10,000 compliance deposit, and that the leadership selection is imminent, we are sure that you will understand both our pressing interest in this matter, and the urgency.”

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A statement from the BC Liberal Party said “a significant number of applications from each of the submitting campaigns were not accepted” as a result of the inspection and verification protocols.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Stone also noted that each campaign had membership applications deemed incomplete and went on to say they “support the party’s process.”

“The fact that just days before the leadership vote, four other campaigns feel they need to gang up against Stone is an indication that his positive message and support is resonating,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier this month, the Liberals said the six candidates signed up 30,000 new members, nearly doubling the party’s membership, which stood at about 32,000 in August 2017.

  • With files from Liza Yuzda and Simon Little

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