Tory MLA Len Webber Quits Caucus, Complains About Redford

The announcement of an Alberta MLA to disown the Progressive Conservative caucus and sit as an independent member has prompted Premier Alison Redford to cancel her New West Partnership meetings on Thursday morning as she tends to deal with her ruptured caucus. Several sources claim that as many as 20 Progressive Conservative MLAs had threatened to leave the party, asking Redford to pay back the $45,000 cost of her trip to Nelson Mandela’s funeral in December, which she finally did on Wednesday afternoon.

However, the gesture did not satisfy Calgary-Foothills MLA, Len Webber, who announced to quit the caucus on Wednesday night and sit as an independent because Redford is a “bully” and “abusive.” Webber alleged that he hopes other MLAs will follow his lead. Furthermore, he explained that “what threw me off is the announcement yesterday about her paying back the $45,000, making it sound like it wasn’t her fault … It wasn’t sincere, it was forced.” Making the announcement on Thursday, he added that “she should have paid it back right away and she never did. That’s what threw me over. That was the final straw.”

On the other hand, labor minister, Thomas Lukaszuk, refused to confirm if he supports the premier but affirmed that Redford will have to face a jury of her peers. He alleged that “we will be having some good discussions today in caucus,” because “this caucus is made up of a group of very good men and women, very honourable, well-intended men and women.” He added that “if there ever was a jury that I was to be judged by, this is the jury I would want to appear in front of.”

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