Canada

Maverick MP Turner resigns from Conservative party

MP Garth Turner, recently booted from the Tory caucus, is resigning his Conservative membership, saying he's been told he won't be allowed to run for the party again.

MP Garth Turner, who was recently booted from the Tory caucus, is resigning his Conservative membership, saying he's been told he won't be allowed to run for the party again.

The Ontario MP — who has been sitting as an Independent since being oustedin October under accusations that heleaked party secrets in his blog — also confirmed Tuesday thathe will run again in the next election.

Turner said the local riding association passed a motion asking for answers to 10 questions, including queries about his status.

At the news conference in Ottawa, Turner said top party officials have responded to those queries. He saidhe's been told he can not run again as a Conservative and that his suspension is indefinite.

Turner, who represents the riding of Halton,maintains he was booted from the Tory caucus because some of his beliefs are at odds with the party.

Turner said Canada's new government is "suddenly looking a lot like the old ones" in terms of accountability.

But hetook a swipe a the whole party system, saying they operate as"old boys' clubs accountable only to themselves."

"The pooh-bahs of the parties of all colours have made themselves actually more important than the individual electors and voters," Turner said.

After Turner announced the news conference on the weekend, telling the Toronto Star that he had "disturbing" information to release, there wasspeculation that the outspoken MP could announce plans to join another party.

Instead Turner said he is going to fight to give Independent MPs more of a voice and more power in Parliament. He also said he will campaign for Green party Leader Elizabeth May in a byelection in London, Ont.

Turner was suspended on the recommendation of the party's Ontario caucus for breaching caucus confidentiality.

Turner's departure left the standings in the Commons at124 Conservatives, 101 Liberals, 50 Bloc Québécois, 29 New Democrats andtwo Independents. There are two vacant seats.