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Patrick Brown backs down

Patrick Brown, Ontario's ousted Progressive Conservative leader, says he is ending his bid to reclaim his former job.

In a four-page statement posted on social media, Brown says he is quitting the party's leadership race because it has been difficult on his family, and his candidacy has distracted from the policy discussion needed for the party as it heads toward a spring election.

Brown abruptly resigned from his post in January amid sexual misconduct allegations he denies.

His departure plunged the Tories into chaos and triggered a leadership race that Brown joined a little over a week ago, saying he had helped grow the party to unprecedented levels and should be the one to lead it into the province's upcoming election.

Four candidates now remain in the race for the party leadership — former legislator Christine Elliott, lawyer Caroline Mulroney, former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford and parental rights advocate Tanya Granic Allen.

Tory members are set to begin voting online for the new leader on March 2 and the winner will be announced on March 10.



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