11/02/2014 06:29 EST | Updated 01/02/2015 05:59 EST

Wildrose MLAs Call For Withdrawal Of Smith's Request For Leadership Review

CALGARY - Alberta Wildrose legislature members have unanimously endorsed a resolution calling for the withdrawal of leader Danielle Smith's request for a leadership review.

Smith put her leadership on the line in the wake of four byelection losses last week, asking that a review be on the agenda when the party holds its annual general meeting in Red Deer later this month.

A news release from the party on Sunday states the request to withdraw the leadership review will now go to the party executive for consideration.

Smith says in the release that she is "humbled and honoured" to have the unanimous support of her caucus colleagues.

The Wildrose caucus was one member smaller on Sunday following the announcement from Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA Joe Anglin that he was leaving the party to sit as an independent.

Anglin lost his local nomination race in July, and he accuses the party in a Facebook statement of "poor management and infighting."

He says in the statement that his decision to leave the Wildrose caucus came right before Smith was to present a motion to kick him out.

"It is no secret that I have been a round peg in a square hole in the Wildrose Party. I speak my mind. I bring different experiences and a different point of view to the caucus than my colleagues," Anglin said in the statement.

"This party was founded on the principles of a grassroots democracy. It is now infested with an unelected backroom weed that is choking off the grassroots movement."

Smith said in a statement that she accepted Anglin's resignation.

"On behalf of my Wildrose caucus colleagues, I thank Mr. Anglin for his service to Albertans," Smith said.

Anglin has represented the riding since 2012. His departure from Wildrose leaves the Opposition party with 16 seats in the Alberta legislature.

Following the byelection losses for Wildrose last week — three in Calgary and one in Edmonton — Smith said she had to take responsibility for the result.

Even though she said she wouldn't have to face a review until after the next general election, she said it was important for her to know she had the support of her members.

The party said in the news release that the motion calling for the withdrawal of the request for the leadership review was debated and voted on without Smith present.

"Caucus members are united in their support of Danielle Smith and are confident that she is the best choice to continue to move our party forward into the next election," said Opposition House Leader Rob Anderson, who put forward the motion.

Smith said the party's focus will now turn to the upcoming fall session in the legislature.

"We will continue to hold the government to account and present positive alternatives that put Albertans first," Smith said.


Photo galleryTwitter Reaction To Alberta Byelections See Gallery