Danielle Smith alleges Joe Anglin secretly recorded caucus meetings
Anglin denies allegations, resigned from Wildrose caucus on Sunday
Wildrose leader Danielle Smith is alleging that MLA Joe Anglin, who resigned from caucus on Sunday, may have secretly recorded caucus meetings.
"There was a suspicion that everything that we said was being recorded,” Smith said in Calgary on Monday.
Anglin, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, resigned hours before members were to vote on a motion to kick him out of the party.
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When asked about Smith's allegations, Anglin denied he ever taped a caucus meeting.
“Never,” he told reporters at the Alberta legislature in Edmonton. He said that he didn't know about Smith's suspicions until reporters asked him about them on Monday.
“If you thought that was happening to you, wouldn’t you ask the person?”
Smith said that she has no proof that Anglin ever recorded a caucus meeting. The only recording Anglin ever provided to the party was of a recent annual general meeting in his riding, which could have been made by someone else.
However, Smith said the ongoing suspicions made it difficult for caucus to have discussions behind closed doors.
“There were a lot of circumscribed conversations that have occurred over the last year because of that worry that if we had full, frank, open discussion about the things we needed to deal with, that we couldn’t trust one member around the table.”
No success in byelections
Smith put her leadership up for review last week after the Wildrose failed to win any of the four ridings in the Oct. 27 byelection.
On Sunday, caucus voted unanimously in favour of Smith withdrawing that request. Smith says the review is no longer required now that Anglin has left.
“Our caucus is united without him being a part of our caucus,” she said.
Still the party has made some staffing changes.
Steve Rennick, the party’s former director of legislative affairs, was announced as Smith’s new chief of staff. The party also made other changes on Monday.
As for Anglin, he will continue to sit in the Alberta legislature as an independent.
Despite all that has happened the past two days, Anglin said that he still respects Smith. His issue isn’t with his former leader, he said, but with the people who were advising her.