Gerry Sklavounos not allowed to return to Liberal caucus, Couillard says

Montreal MNA Gerry Sklavounos, who was cleared earlier this month of sexual assault allegations, won't be allowed to return to the Liberal caucus.

MNA for Laurier-Dorion will sit as an independent following sexual assault allegations

Former Quebec government house leader Gerry Sklavounos spoke to the media last week alongside his wife, Janneke. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Montreal MNA Gerry Sklavounos, who was cleared earlier this month of sexual assault allegations, won't be allowed to return to the Liberal caucus.

Premier Philippe Couillard made the announcement Tuesday, saying Sklavounos's public statement after his return to the National Assembly didn't meet his expectations.

The premier added that there are still allegations of inappropriate behaviour involving Sklavounos that have not been cleared up.

"We have to send a very clear message to Quebecers, especially Quebec women, that everywhere — but in the workplace in particular — respect must be total, and confidence must be total,'' Couillard said.

Sklavounos, who represents the riding of Laurier-Dorion, said he will continue to serve his constituents as an independent.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, left, with caucus president Nicole Ménard, announced the decision Tuesday. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)
The 42-year-old left the Liberal caucus last October after a Quebec City woman, Alice Paquet, accused him of sexual assault.

He took medical leave from the National Assembly soon after. He has maintained his innocence since the allegations came to light.

Following an investigation by Quebec City police, the Crown announced earlier this month it had determined no criminal act had taken place, and as such, Sklavounos would not face charges.

Sklavounos, 42, left the Liberal caucus last October after a Quebec City woman, Alice Paquet, accused him of sexually assaulting her. 0:35

In his first public remarks after being cleared, Sklavounos said last week that if he "offended or made others uncomfortable, that is unacceptable and inappropriate to me, and I will be more careful going forward."

"To those who I offended in spite of myself, know that wasn't my intention and I sincerely regret it," he said.

with files from The Canadian Press