Todd Stone's campaign scraps 1,349 memberships over fake email allegations
Email addresses were missing from B.C. Liberal Party membership applications submitted by Stone's campaign
B.C. Liberal leadership hopeful Todd Stone has been dealt a major blow just one day before the party elects a new leader.
Stone — who is running against Mike de Jong, Andrew Wilkinson, Dianne Watts, Michael Lee and Sam Sullivan — had to scrap more than 1,300 party memberships that were submitted by his campaign.
"Last Friday, our senior campaign team was contacted by the party about a situation involving missing email addresses on a group of pending membership applications," campaign co-chair Peter Fassbender said in a statement.
"Upon being informed of the situation, Todd immediately requested a full investigation to determine exactly what had transpired."
Fassbender says the applications mainly came from prospective members whose first language is not English.
The party accepted Stone's recommendation that the 1,349 applications in question not be included in the voting process.
Wilkinson's campaign co-chair and former Liberal energy minister, Bill Bennett, says he's glad party auditors spotted the problem, before it had an impact on the vote.
"The actual intention was to vote for people, instead of allowing people to vote for themselves, which of course is not only unacceptable — it's sickening," Bennett said.
Stone's campaign says party members and British Columbians should have full confidence in the result.
"We are confident in the rigorous verification process for applications put in place by the party that our campaign and all campaigns have followed, which has resulted in membership applications by all campaigns being deemed incomplete," Fassbender said.