UPDATE: Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says MP Tony Clement has resigned from the Conservative caucus at his request.
OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The leader of the federal opposition says an MP who apologized for sharing sexually explicit images and video of himself to someone he believed was a consenting woman will remain a member of the caucus, despite his admission.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer told reporters on Wednesday that he’s taking Tory MP Tony Clement’s word that this is the first time something like this has happened.
“That this is an incident with someone who was a consenting party, so we agreed that it was best for the caucus and for himself to step away from his assignments,” Scheer said. “Obviously it’s a terrible lapse of judgement that we’re all disappointed in, so Tony’s now going to focus on his family, his marriage, and we certainly do wish him all the best.”
Clement apologized to his family and colleagues for his actions on Tuesday, claiming in a statement the recipient of sexually explicitly images and video of himself turned out to be a person, or group of people, who targeted him for the “purpose of financial extortion.”
The Parry Sound-Muskoka MP has resigned from his House of Commons committee assignments and has also stepped down from his role as Conservative Shadow Minister for Justice.
Conservative Leader @AndrewScheer addresses the story about @TonyclementCPC sending sexually explicit images & videos to someone who he claims tried to extort him. Scheer won’t say if Clement will be allowed to run in 2019, but says he will remain in caucus #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/lQr56P16M6
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) November 7, 2018
“I recognize now that I have gone down a wrong path and have exercised very poor judgment,” Clement said in his statement.
He adds that he is committed to seeking help and treatment to ensure similar incidents don’t happen again.
Scheer would not say if Clement will be allowed to run in 2019. Clement is a former leadership candidate.
The Tory leader adds the RCMP and security connected to the Privy Council office are investigating to see if national security was compromised, or if Clement, also a former leadership candidate, was targeted because of his role in the national security and intelligence committee of parliamentarians.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not comment on the situation.
-With files from Cormac Mac Sweeney