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Politics

MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes leaves Liberal caucus following criticism of Trudeau

WATCH ABOVE: Trudeau says he 'respects' Celina Caesar-Chavannes' decision to leave caucus

MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who resigned from Liberal caucus on Wednesday, says she no longer wants to “distract from” the work of her colleagues.

In a statement posted to Twitter, she referenced a recent interview in which she accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of raising his voice with her.

“The interview I gave last week to the Globe and Mail has had unintended effects on those I care about,” she said. “Although that was not the intention, it was the consequence, and I am sorry. I no longer want to distract from the great work my caucus colleagues are doing.”

READ MORE: PMO denies that Trudeau yelled at Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes

Trudeau told reporters on his way into question period on Wednesday that he learned from his office that the Whitby, Ont., MP has decided to sit as an Independent for the remainder of the parliamentary session.

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“I want to thank her for her service to the Liberal party and to her constituents and wish her the best in her continued service to constituents,” Trudeau said.

WATCH:  Whitby MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes quit Liberal caucus

Ontario MP quits Liberal caucus; will sit as an independent
Ontario MP quits Liberal caucus; will sit as an independent

When later asked why Caesar-Chavannes was leaving the party, Trudeau told reporters it would be best to ask her directly.

READ MORE: Liberal MP says racial microaggressions ‘happen all the time’ on Parliament Hill

Caesar-Chavannes is a first-term MP who announced earlier this year that she will not be running for re-election.

She pushed back at questions over whether her decision was linked to the allegations of attempted political interference at the heart of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

READ MORE: ‘You think the world revolves around your skin colour’: Liberal and Conservative MP tangle on Twitter

That controversy saw former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould and former Treasury Board president Jane Philpott resign, citing a lack of confidence in Trudeau’s handling of the matter.

Both have so far remained in the Liberal caucus and appear set to run again under the banner this fall.

WATCH: ‘Remember your reactions?’ MP Caesar-Chavannes says in cryptic tweet after PM Trudeau remarks (March 7)

‘Remember your reactions?’: Liberal MP sends out cryptic tweet after PM remarks
‘Remember your reactions?’: Liberal MP sends out cryptic tweet after PM remarks
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Caesar-Chavannes, however, accused Trudeau in a cryptic tweet earlier this month of failing to live up to the leadership expectations of openness and teamwork that he espoused.

She later told the Globe and Mail that he had raised his voice when she told him on the day of Wilson-Raybould’s resignation that she would not run again. She said he later apologized.

 

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