Canadian MP Tony Clement out of caucus after sexting revelation
A Canadian MP and former Cabinet minister has resigned from a federal national security oversight committee amid a sexting scandal.
Tony Clement, 57, was also removed from the Conservative caucus on Wednesday.
Mr Clement said he was the victim of an attempted financial extortion after sharing sexually explicit images “with someone I believed was a consenting female”.
He said Canadian authorities were now investigating the incident.
In a statement, the veteran politician apologised to his family and said he was seeking help in the wake of his actions.
Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer said that he accepted Mr Clement’s resignation from the security and intelligence committee and as the party’s justice spokesman following the revelations.
“I think we can all agree this was a very poor decision,” he told journalists on Wednesday morning.
He later asked Mr Clement to leave the Conservative caucus after learning that the sexting might not have been an isolated incident.
Mr Clement had top secret security clearance and access to highly classified information as a member of National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. That body has a broad mandate to review the country’s security and intelligence organisations.
Mr Scheer said he would leave it up to Canadian security agencies to determine whether Mr Clement might have been compromised.
The centre-right Conservative Party is currently Canada’s official opposition.
Mr Clement is a well-known politician whose career began in Ontario provincial politics in 1995. He later joined federal politics, where he served in a number of Cabinet posts under the previous government, including holding the industry and health portfolios.