B.C. Conservative Leader John Cummins resigns
The former Reform Party MP failed to win a seat in the B.C. Legislature
Former Reform Party MP John Cummins has officially stepped down as the leader of B.C. Conservative Party, following the party's failure to win a single seat in the May provincial election.
A statement released by the party on Thursday evening, said Cummins was "leaving with his head held high."
"In two years under his leadership, Cummins led the Party from a fledgling organization with fewer than a thousand members, to a membership base of close to 5,000 people with a grassroots structure facilitating member-driven policy development and involvement," said party president Dan Denis in the statement.
Cummins lost in his own riding in the May provincial election, when the B.C. Conservatives garnered only 4.8 per cent of the popular vote.
But in the statement he pointed to the party's success providing an alternative to the B.C. Liberals for voters.
"While the ultimate result of the election was not what we were looking for, I'm proud to have been able to lead a team of credible candidates who re-engaged voters in a way that allowed them to express themselves and cast a ballot for a common-sense alternative," Cummins was quoted saying in the official statement.
During the lead up to the election Cummins fought off an internal attempt to oust him as leader, but the party plummeted in the polls as a result and Cummins was never able to recover the lost ground.
But Denis commended Cummins for "taking a firm stand in support of the will of the majority of party members against who sought, through bullying, intimidation, and grandstanding tactics to discredit his leadership."
"I know those times were personally difficult for John, but he showed immense strength of character in getting our party through the storm," said Denis.
The board of the party is scheduled to meet next week to finalize plans for a leadership race and convention.