Calgary-East MLA expelled from NDP caucus
Calgary-East MLA Robyn Luff has been kicked out of government caucus after she refused to sit in the legislature amid allegations of bullying by the NDP leadership.
The NDP released a statement on Monday evening and said MLAs had met in Edmonton and decided to remove Luff because of her actions and because they ‘have lost confidence in her ability to participate as a productive and trustworthy member of the government caucus.’
Luff was absent from the legislature on Monday and refused to sit in protest of a ‘culture of fear and intimidation’ that she says prevents MLAs from properly representing their constituents.
In an open letter to Albertans, Luff said she ‘felt bullied by the NDP leadership for over 3 and a half years and it must stop.’
Minister of Transportation and Government House Leader, Brian Mason, spoke to reporters at the legislature on Monday and said members have the opportunity to speak their minds but that he doesn’t agree with ‘the characterization that it amounted to bullying.’
Luff responded to Mason’s comments on twitter and tweeted that she would be releasing a statement in response on Tuesday.
She posted a letter to her Facebook page saying that she is ‘disappointed’ in the NDP’s decision to remove her from caucus.
In the post, Luff says she wanted to ‘work toward a solution to address the problem of fear and intimidation within the party’ and that the fact she was removed from caucus reinforces her position that ‘a culture of bullying exists.’
‘Since I have come out publicly, I have had staff members, party members, and caucus members tell me, all confidentially, that they have felt this too, but are too scared to come forward, and I will not breach their trust in me. The greatest blow of all is to be told my fellow NDP colleagues have voted me out, and that they are all complicit, every one of them,’ said the post in part.
She also responded to Brian Mason’s comments saying…
“I am also disappointed and very saddened in Brian Mason's comments to the media that "people have to realize that's the way government works." I refuse to believe that the way government works is that all members of the same party have to agree in public all the time. I think that this assumption is a disservice to democracy. I believe he shouted in opposition for years that it shouldn't work this way.”
Luff says she will not be joining another party and that she will not be running in next year’s election.
Read the whole statement HERE.