Politics

NDP leader says he was unaware of 'impropriety' allegations against Moore

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said neither he nor his team were aware of the inappropriate conduct allegations against caucus member Christine Moore, despite the complainant's claim that it was an open secret in Ottawa.

Afghanistan vet says Quebec MP sent him explicit messages, pushed alcohol on him after committee appearance

Earlier this year, Christine Moore sent an open letter complaining about fellow NDP MP Erin Weir's behaviour, prompting an investigation and his eventual expulsion from caucus. The party is now looking at allegations against Moore herself. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he and his team were not aware of the allegations of inappropriate conduct against caucus member Christine Moore, despite the complainant's claim that it was an open secret in Ottawa.

Afghanistan veteran Glen Kirkland told CBC Moore approached him after his testimony before a parliamentary committee five years ago and invited him to her office, where she gave him alcohol — then followed him back to his hotel and later sent him explicit messages.

"This came out right when it happened and everyone knew about it," Kirkland told CBC's The Current.

Kirkland alleges Moore, a nurse, offered him gin even after he told her he was taking antidepressants and painkillers, and was not supposed to be drinking.

He said what happened next was consensual but he felt he would not have been in that situation if Moore hadn't been a member of Parliament.

"She took advantage of her position," he said.

Singh said he only learned of the allegations this week.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he was unaware of any impropriety by MP Christine Moore until sexual harassment allegations were brought forward against her by an Afghan war vet. 0:42

"Knowing about a relation is one thing, knowing about the specific allegations that were brought forward by the CBC specifically outlining some impropriety, that was absolutely unknown to me, unknown to the team the impropriety of it," Singh told reporters.

Singh, who took the reins of the federal party in October 2017 after serving as an Ontario NDP MPP, also said he was unaware of any relationship between Kirkland and Moore.

In a statement emailed Tuesday, Singh said Moore had been suspended from her duties pending an investigation. He said Moore's role in caucus will be re-evaluated once the investigator's work is complete.

She remains a member of the NDP caucus.

Singh said members of the caucus will be encouraged to contact the independent investigator if they have information to impart.

When contacted by the CBC for an interview earlier this week, Moore said she wanted to wait before speaking.

On Tuesday she released a statement. In it, she said she welcomes the opportunity to participate in the investigation process.

"Out of respect for the fairness and the integrity of the process, I will not be commenting further on these allegations at this point," she said.

Earlier this year, Moore sent a letter complaining about fellow NDP MP Erin Weir's behaviour, saying he was the "last person" who should get the job of caucus chair.

That prompted an investigation that turned up harassment and sexual harassment complaints against Weir.

He was kicked out of caucus just last week.

Singh said Weir was expelled after it became clear that "a rehabilitative approach is no longer possible."

Weir said he was kicked out because he spoke publicly about his case.

Singh said Moore's involvement in the Weir investigation isn't relevant to this new probe.

"If there's an allegation, we'll take it seriously and an inquiry will take its course. It should not in any way impeach somebody's credibility about other complaints and other issues," he said.

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