Quebec MP Alain Rayes has announced he is leaving the Conservative caucus and will sit as an independent MP in the House of Commons, after Pierre Poilievre was named the party’s new leader.
In a statement, Rayes, who supported Jean Charest in the leadership race, said that while he respects the decision of the deputies, “some of my ideals, values and political 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 wrote to the Speaker of the House of Commons on Tuesday informing him of his choice to sit as an independent, a move that will result in a new seating arrangement in the chamber.
“I remain a proud Progressive Conservative and I will continue to serve my fellow citizens of the riding of Richmond-Arthabaska with determination,” said the MP elected for the first time in 2015.
Rayes had served as deputy party leader and Quebec lieutenant until February, when he resigned from that post, indicating he wanted to focus on the leadership race.
Throughout the seven-month campaign, Rayes was among two dozen Conservative caucus members who were behind Charest, who came in far behind Poilievre on Saturday.
— Alain Rayes (@AlainRayes) September 13, 2022