12/13/2012 11:09 EST

NDP's Michael Byers Denies Andrew Weaver Claim He Told Green Party Candidate To Quit

Green Party of B.C.

A high-profile candidate for the Green Party of B.C. says a senior NDP member called him up and told him to quit in exchange for a deputy minister position.

University of Victoria climate change professor Andrew Weaver says NDP member Michael Byers told him to stand down from the race in Oak Bay-Gordon Head and offered him a spot as deputy minister of environment if the NDP won the 2013 election, CKNW reports.

For his part, Byers tells the Vancouver Sun he phoned Weaver in a private capacity and said he was surprised and disappointed he was running for the Greens.

He called it a "flat-out lie" that he offered Weaver a deputy minister's position.

"I couldn’t have made that kind of statement," Byers told the newspaper.

The call allegedly happened in September, shortly after Weaver announced his candidacy, the Province reported.

Weaver said it was his understanding that Byers was calling on behalf of his party. Byers allegedly told him he had the ear of party leader Adrian Dix.

Weaver Tweeted about the phone call Wednesday night.

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