Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola Conservative MP Dan Albas (pictured) is publicly thanking now former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer in light of Scheer’s resignation Thursday. (File photo)

Updated: Kelowna area MPs respond to Conservative leader’s resignation

Dan Albas and Tracy Gray issue brief statements about Andrew Scheer quitting as Conservative leader.

Update Dec 13, 2019: Kelowna-Lake Country MP Tracy Gray has responded to Andrew Scheer’s announcement he will resign as party Conservative Party leader.

In a brief statement posted on Facebook, Gray said:

“Andrew Scheer just resigned as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada in the House (Thursday) morning. His intention is to stay on as leader of the official Opposition until a new one is chosen by our membership.

As our membership goes through the process of selecting a new leader, I will continue to work hard on holding the Liberal government to account, and bring our community’s concerns forward.”

Requests for interviews with both Gray and Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas about Scheer’s departure have gone unanswered.

Original story: Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola Conservative MP Dan Albas has issued a statement in light of his party leader’s surprise resignation Thursday morning.

Andrew Scheer announced in the House of Commons he had resigned.

Albas, who co-chaired the B.C. campaign for Maxime Bernier when he ran against Scheer for leader of the Conservative Party in 2017, said he was surprised when Scheer named him to his first shadow cabinet after becoming leader.

Since then, Albas has praised Scheer as Conservative leader and was named again to the Conservative shadow cabinet after the recent federal election. That election resulted in a minority Liberal government.

“When Andrew Scheer was elected as the Conservative Party leader, I did not expect a call to be asked to join Mr. Scheer’s shadow cabinet. However, one of Andrew’s first acts as the new leader was to reach out across the caucus and put together a unified Opposition team,” said Albas in a statement emailed to the media.

“I want to thank Andrew Scheer for his service as both leader of the Opposition and leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. It has been a pleasure to work beside him in shadow cabinet in the last parliament and in this one.”

Albas wished Scheer well and said he looks forward to continuing to hold the Liberal government to account in this 43rd Parliament.

Kelowna-Lake Country Conservative MP Tracy Gray has yet to respond to a request for comment.

The Conservatives are currently reviewing their recent election campaign loss, a result that left many in the party disappointed and resulted in calls for Scheer to resign.

Despite earlier saying he intended to stay on as leader, Scheer called an emergency caucus meeting Thursday morning in Ottawa and told his MP he was stepping down.

In the Commons, he said he made the decision after talking with his family.

“In order to chart the course ahead, this party needs a leader who can give 100 per cent to this effort,” Scheer said in the House of Commons. “So after a conversation with my kids, my loved ones, I felt it was time to put my family first.”

He also urged Conservatives to stay united and focus on winning the next election.

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