Patrick Brown has stepped down as Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader after serious allegations of sexual misconduct from two women.
"These allegations are false and have been difficult to hear," said Brown in a statement issued just before 1:30amET.
"However, defeating [Ontario Premier] 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.," said Brown, who is 39.
In interviews to CTV News, two women allege inappropriate behaviour by the political figure throughout his tenure as an elected official.
Both incidents are alleged to have happened inside Brown’s home in Barrie, after the women had been drinking in his presence. Brown was not drinking alcohol at the time of the alleged incidents.
The first incident occurred more than 10 years ago when one of the women - a high school student in Barrie at the time - said she and a mutual friend met Brown at a bar. The woman says after Brown invited them back to his home and provided them with alcohol, she was drunk when Brown invited her for a tour of his home. When the pair entered the bedroom, Brown closed the door and exposed his penis to her, CTV News reports.
The woman alleges that he then asked her to perform oral sex, which she did before stopping.
Another woman came forward with a similar story, detailing her time working for the MP in then-prime minister Stephen Harper’s government. She alleges an after-party at Brown's house left her and the former Ontario PC Leader in a room alone, where he kissed her while she lay still.
CTV News reports she told him to stop, saying she had a boyfriend and told Brown to take her home, which he did, driving her back to her parents’ house.
Brown called a news conference at the provincial legislature on Wednesday night to deny the allegations, calling them "categorically untrue."