MP expelled by Liberals on sexual assault charge withdrawn says ‘political agents’ want him to fail

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Kevin Vuong entered the House of Commons on Monday to take his seat as an independent MP after a controversial victory in his Toronto constituency in the September 20 election

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OTTAWA – A Toronto MP dumped by the Liberals for failing to disclose a withdrawn sexual assault charge says he believes people want to see him in Parliament and has blamed political agents and a crowd on social media for wanting him see fail.

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Kevin Vuong entered the House of Commons on Monday to take his seat as an independent MP after a controversial victory in Spadina-Fort York in the September 20 election.

The Liberal Party dropped Vuong as a candidate two days before the vote after the Toronto Star reported he faced a sexual assault charge in 2019, which was later withdrawn. The Liberal Party said it was unaware of the drop in charges.

His name stuck on the ballot and after his victory he decided to sit as an independent.

Vuong apologized to his supporters, former Liberal colleagues as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his appearance on the Toronto radio show Moore in the Morning last week – his first interview since winning his seat.

Vuong, who flatly denied the sexual assault allegation, said on Monday going to the House of Commons that he recognized his actions and that people had encouraged him to move forward.

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“I think there may be a core of people on social media and, you know, political operatives who want to see me fail,” he said.

“Of the many people who have contacted me since my interview, they have encouraged me to move forward. And that’s what I’m going to do.

“It’s an honor to be able to represent the people of Spadina-Fort York, and you know, I’ve only received a lot of messages of encouragement to continue serving… I’ve been totally transparent. I was on the record, and I own it well.

Liberal House leader Mark Holland said earlier Monday that Vuong would be better off “resigning”.

Others have also urged him to step down, including former Liberal MP Adam Vaughan, who represented the downtown Toronto constituency from 2014 until he decided not to run in the recent federal vote, when Vuong intensified.

“I have never called the residents and organizations I have had the honor to work with and serve as ‘political agents’,” Vaughan tweeted in response to Vuong’s remarks.

“I have found ‘constituents’ to be the most appropriate term. “

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