POLITICS
05/08/2018 13:32 EDT | Updated 05/09/2018 16:29 EDT

NDP MP Christine Moore Suspended From Caucus Duties After Misconduct Allegations

The NDP leader is promising a "fair and full examination."

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has suspended Quebec MP Christine Moore from caucus duties pending an investigation into alleged inappropriate conduct.

Singh announced in a statement Tuesday that Moore will take a break from her work as an NDP MP, including committees, in light of accusations made by Glen Kirkland, who served as a combat soldier in Afghanistan.

Kirkland told CBC News that Moore, a former nurse in the Canadian Armed Forces, allegedly pressured him to drink alcohol in her office after he testified before a House of Commons defence committee in June 2013. Kirkland told the broadcaster that he was on painkillers and antidepressants at the time and felt a "power imbalance" with the MP.

Kirkland told CBC News that the pair ended up spending the night together. He claimed the MP later pursue him aggressively until he told her in a "curt" manner he was not interested.

"I take these allegations very seriously and I will be appointing an independent investigator to conduct a fair and full examination," Singh said in the release.

The NDP leader said Moore's role in caucus will be "re-evaluated" once an investigator has reviewed the matter.

Moore released a statement saying she welcomed the opportunity to "participate in the independent and fair examination" of the accusations against her.

"Out of respect for the fairness and the integrity of the process, I will not be commenting further on these allegations at this point," she said.

The move comes less than a week after Singh released Saskatchewan MP Erin Weir from caucus after a three-month sexual misconduct investigation that was sparked by Moore, who reported hearing second-hand allegations that Weir had harassed women.

The investigation concluded that Weir "failed to read non-verbal cues in social situations," but stopped when his advances on women were unwelcome.

Singh ultimately booted Weir from caucus for good, however, for publicly alleging that a member of former leader Thomas Mulcair's staff complained about him in retaliation for his views on the national carbon tax.

Before question period, veteran B.C. NDP MP Nathan Cullen told reporters that the misconduct cases involving Weir and Moore don't point to a partisan issue.

"All parties have had to face these allegations... the Liberals, the Conservatives. Madame May had allegations levied against her," he said, referring to claims of workplace harassment against the Green Party leader back in January.

Cullen added that he agrees with the NDP leader that the review process should be survivor-led. He added that it would be "inappropriate" to speculate about possible motivations behind Kirkland's decision to go public.

The MP also said he didn't think that Moore's case, which bucks the trend of misconduct claims "overwhelmingly" being raised against men, is more complex than others.

"I think it's nuance certainly, but we have to be consistent in the way that we approach things," he said.

With files from The Canadian Press, Zi-Ann Lum