Ottawa

Lisa MacLeod calls Patrick Brown allegations 'disgusting and cruel'

Former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown claims in a new tell-all book that local MPP Lisa MacLeod was not a team player and worked to push him out the door when allegations of sexual misconduct broke earlier this year.

New tell-all book from Patrick Brown implicates MacLeod in his downfall

Local MPP Lisa MacLeod calls the allegations made about her mental illness in Patrick Brown's book 'disgusting and cruel.' (Giacomo Panico/CBC)

 new tell-all book from former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown claims local MPP Lisa MacLeod was not a team player and worked to push him out the door when allegations of sexual misconduct broke earlier this year.

The book, entitled Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown, traces his career in politics and the sexual misconduct allegations that forced him from office in January 2018.

In it, Brown claims MacLeod had long hated him, because he had won her riding during the party's leadership race. He charges that she had a poor attendance record at caucus and was disliked by political organizers, fellow members of caucus and her staff.

"When I think about Lisa MacLeod, I think about a person who is always angry. She was just angry with everything, with everyone and with her situation in life," he writes.

Patrick Brown is releasing the new book that covers his career in politics, including his resignation in January. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

MPPs pushed him from party, Brown claims

Brown also suggests that when the sexual misconduct allegations against him became public, MacLeod and Finance Minister Vic Fedeli worked to push him from the party and take over.  

"Rumour had it that MacLeod and Fedeli cut a deal. She would back him to take over as the permanent leader, and in return she would be finance critic," he wrote in the book.

In a statement, MacLeod said all of the allegations made about her are "categorically false." She said Brown did not create a "supportive, inclusive and respectful" atmosphere when he was party leader.

"He was not focused on supporting a team or creating an atmosphere where staff and MPPs were respected," she said.

Brown also questioned the veracity of MacLeod's battles with mental health in his book, and wrote party organizers in eastern Ontario "believed that MacLeod made up the mental health issues she claimed to have suffered during the nomination races in order to endear the public to her."

MacLeod, who is also the minister of children, community and social services, called the suggestion "disgusting and cruel" and said it would hamper other people who want to come forward and talk about their own struggles. 

"The dangerous claims made in this book will make it harder for children, teens and all Ontarians to share their stories and seek help. It takes courage to speak openly about mental health struggles."

Premier Doug Ford tweeted his support for MacLeod on Wednesday.

"I would rather have the endorsement of Kathleen Wynne than Patrick Brown. The lies in this book are disgusting. To suggest that one of our ministers would fake a mental illness is dangerous and cruel."

Since stepping down from the role of opposition leader, Brown has sued CTV — who originally reported on the allegations — and has been elected as mayor of Brampton, Ont.