Canada’s Conservative MPs voted to remove Erin O’Toole, party leader, after just 18 months.
Wednesday’s vote saw 73 of the 119 Conservative Parliamentarians vote to replace the man who led them to defeat last year.
After campaigning as a true blue conservative, the Ontario Tory is widely considered moderate.
With several names in the fray, the race to replace him begins.
Andrew Scheer, former leader, has denied that he wants to be the next leader. Candice Bergen, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party, and Garnett Genuis, Conservative MP, have also denied any interest in the job.
The final vote was close with only 45 MPs voting for him to continue.
A majority of Conservative legislators signed an earlier this week a letter calling on a review of the leadership.
On Monday, O’Toole responded to a petition asking him to leave. He wrote: “I’m going nowhere and I’m never turning back.” Canada needs to be united, serious!
“It’s now time for a reckoning. This will be settled in caucus. Right now. Right now. Once and for all. Anger vs Optimism. This is the simple choice.
After his defeat, O’Toole posted a Facebook video in which he called it “the honour” and shared his “departing thoughts”.
“I do it knowing that I have had my moment – my chance at the microphone. I love my country too much to not comment.
“This country requires a Conservative party that is both intellectually strong and able to govern. Without power, ideology is nothing but vanity. It is foolish to seek power without ideology.”
He said that Canadians should have “exemplary management” from the government. He called for politicians to listen to the other side. All voices are important. Listen to all voices, not just those from your tribe.
An interim leader will replace the four-term MP who represents a suburban Toronto area.
Moments after the vote was over, John Williamson, MP, tweeted that he would be temporarily taking over.
“As caretaker leader I will listen to what our party, movement and caucus have said.” He wrote that he was a member of the party’s grassroots and he has deep respect for Parliament.
Since the September 2021 election in which Justin Trudeau’s Liberals won the seat, Mr O’Toole has been trying to keep the position.
Right-wing members of his party have criticised him for his position on gay conversion therapy, Covid mandates and other issues.
Before entering politics, O’Toole was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Later, he worked as a corporate lawyer.
On Wednesday, Trudeau praised his rival for his defeat as leader of Mr O’Toole.
Trudeau stated that although there are many things we disagree on regarding the direction of this nation, he did his part to serve his country. He deserves my gratitude.”
This will mark the third time Conservatives have elected a new leader since 2017.