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Alberta Wildrose association says it backs Brian Jean after calling for leadership review

An Alberta Wildrose constituency association that had asked for a leadership review now says it stands by leader Brian Jean.

What a difference 3 days can make: from critic to 'unconditional' supporter

A Wildrose constituency association announced it now supports party leader Brian Jean after calling for an annual leadership review earlier in the week (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

The Alberta Wildrose constituency association that earlier this week called for annual leadership reviews to be considered at the party's upcoming annual general meeting, has had a change of heart.

The board representing the Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills area passed the resolution Tuesday.

"In some people's minds, they are not happy with some of the actions that have taken place," association president Carl Christensen told CBC News on Thursday.

"In the [Derek] Fildebrandt case, the fact that a suspension took place then, within three days, reinstatement. It just doesn't appear good in the eyes of many people."

Both Jean and the area MLA shot back at the time saying Christensen didn't speak for most party members and that Jean has broad support.

'Change of heart'

A statement Friday posted to Wildrose MLA David Hanson's Facebook page on behalf of the constituency association paints a different picture.

The association now says it is "impressed" with the leader and "stands with him unconditionally."

"The motion the [constituency association] advanced was specific to the Wildrose policy amendment as part of the party AGM process and procedures and in no way reflected the board's lack of approval for Mr. Jean," the statement reads.

"If other comments were made they would have been done personally and do not reflect the opinions of the Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills constituency association."

The party has had a series of public conflicts in recent weeks.

Jean suspended high profile MLA Derek Fildebrandt after an "unacceptable" social media interaction, only to reinstate him three days later after a social media backlash to the decision.

Nine Wildrose MLAs, including David Hanson, wrote a post comparing the NDP's proposed carbon tax to the genocide of millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s but later apologized.

With files from CBC's Michelle Bellefontaine and Canadian Press

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