Calgary

Ex-UCP board member says he was bullied out of party for helping election commissioner investigation

One of the six individuals who resigned from the Livingstone-MacLeod United Conservative constituency association board last week says was being bullied because of his participation in an investigation involving the party's leadership race.

Mark Hudson says he is helping investigation into Jeff Callaway's 'kamikaze' leadership campaign

United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney suggested the resignations were due to anger over the nomination race in the riding. (CBC)

One of the six individuals who resigned from the Livingstone-MacLeod United Conservative Party constituency association board last week says he was being bullied because of his participation in an investigation involving the party's leadership race.

Mark Hudson was vice-president of fundraising and events for the constituency association until last week when he and five other members of the board, including its president, quit.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Hudson said he is cooperating in an election commissioner investigation concerning Jeff Callaway and his UCP leadership race.

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Callaway, the former Wildrose Party president, ran for the leadership against Jason Kenney, former Wildrose leader Brian Jean and Calgary lawyer Doug Schweitzer.

'Kamikaze' campaign

In October 2017, Callaway abruptly dropped out of the race and announced he would support Kenney, who won the leadership less than a month later.

It's alleged Callaway was a "kamikaze" candidate who entered the race to attack Jean on Kenney's behalf, a story that broke when audio was released of a conversation outlining the plan.

Hudson said on Wednesday that he leaked the audio and is one of two voices on the recording.

According to a letter obtained by CBC News in January, election commissioner Lorne Gibson has been "examining allegations of irregular financial contributions made to the Jeff Callaway campaign during the 2017 United Conservative Party leadership contest."

Several people have since been fined for their contributions to that campaign.

Jason Kenney responds

UCP leader Jason Kenney said on Friday that he didn't know the details behind the resignations in Livingstone-Macleod, but suggested the board members may have been upset with the outcome of the riding nomination race.

"It may have something to do with the fact that they were the supporters of one of the three candidates who were not nominated," said Kenney.

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Hudson said that's not the reason for his departure and that the nomination was "fair, neutral and honest."  

He says he has "been the subject of personal bullying attacks by a select few UCP board members."

"While the vast majority of the CA board has been supportive of me, I cannot continue given the increasing gravity of the election commissioner's investigation, for I feel the bullying would simply worsen," reads his statement. "I cannot simply hide away in a corner and shut up."

Hudson doesn't elaborate on the nature of the bullying.

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About the Author

Helen Pike

Reporter

Helen Pike joined CBC Calgary as a reporter in 2018 after spending four years working as a print journalist focusing on urban issues and municipal affairs. She is the southern Alberta reporter for the provincial election. You can find her on Twitter @helenipike.

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