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Deputy Tory leader stepping down to back MacKay – source

The Liberal-turned-Tory will back MacKay.

The deputy opposition leader in the House of Commons stepped down on Sunday to get involved in the Conservative Party leadership race and a source told GuelphWire that she plans to announce her support for frontrunner Peter MacKay on Monday.

Photos Andre Forget / OLO — Leona Alleslev is welcomed into the Conservative Party in 2018.

MP Leona Alleslev was appointed by Tory leader Andrew Scheer as his second-in-command after the 2019 federal election that saw his party knock the Liberals down to a minority but fail to secure enough seats to form government.

The source is involved in the campaign of MacKay and spoke on background because they did not have permission to share sensitive information. They added Alleslev could be the interim opposition leader if MackKay wins and until he claims a seat in the House.

Alleslev’s planned support for MacKay was first reported by Brian Lilley of the Toronto Sun, followed by Travis Dhanraj of Global News.

However, any rumour of an agreement for Alleslev’s support of MacKay was dispelled by campaign officials, according to Global News.

Dhanraj reported early on Monday that the campaign believes the former deputy “will endorse him but deny any ‘deal’ was discussed”.

The campaign said: “Anyone who has endorsed Peter MacKay, or will endorse Peter MacKay, makes the decision freely without any promises or commitments.”

Alleslev, who represents Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, is well-known for her floor crossing from the Liberals to the Tories in September 2018, a big win for the Conservatives who were seeking support in the Greater Toronto Area ahead of an election.