Quebec MP Alain Rayes says he’s leaving the Conservative caucus and will sit as an independent MP in the House of Commons. He attributed this to Pierre Poilievre being named the party’s new leader.
Rayes—who backed Jean Charest in the leadership race— says that while he respects the decision of members, “some of my political ideals, values, and convictions are not compatible with the new path.”
“I leave without bitterness and I remain driven by the deep desire to continue to serve the population on the political scene,” he wrote.
Rayes said he told the House of Commons Speaker on Tuesday of his choice to sit as an independent, a move that will prompt a new seating arrangement in the chamber.
“I remain a proud Progressive Conservative and I will continue to serve my constituents of the riding of Richmond-Arthabaska with determination,” said the MP first elected in 2015.
Rayes was among the two dozen Conservative caucus members who were behind Charest, who came a distant second to Poilievre on Saturday.
Reacting to his first caucus defection just days into the new job, Poilievre claimed that Rayes has opted to not fight Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his economic policies. He said all of the Conservatives who remain behind him agree that countering inflation should be the party's focus.