Han Dong, MP for Don Valley North, accused of benefiting from Beijing’s meddling in his electoral campaign, will leave the Liberal caucus and sit as an Independent.
“I’m taking this extraordinary step because to [sit] in the government caucus is a privilege and my presence there may be seen by some as a conflict of duty and the wrong place to be as an independent investigation pursues the facts in this matter,” he said , reading a statement in the House of Commons on Wednesday night.
“I will be sitting as the Independent so that business of government and indeed the bills of Parliament is not interrupted as I work to clear my name and the truth is presented to Parliament and to Canadian people.”
Global News reported that Dong advised a senior Chinese diplomat in February 2021 to hold off on freeing Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — the two Canadians held by China at the time — because their release would benefit the Conservatives if Beijing delayed.
“I am a proud Liberal,” said Dong, his voice breaking during his remarks.
“Before concluding, I want to assure Mr. Michael Spavor and Mr. Michael Kovrig and their families that I did nothing to cause them any harm.”
“Mr. Speaker, I am in your hands as to what happens next.”