Ford kicks backbencher out of Ontario PC caucus after she met with far-right figure

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has kicked a backbencher out of the Progressive Conservative caucus after what he calls repeated and serious lapses in judgment.

Goldie Ghamari, who represents the Ottawa-area riding of Carleton, recently took a virtual meeting with Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the far-right English Defence League.

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After Ghamari posted on social media about the meeting, the National Council of Canadian Muslims called Robinson an Islamophobe and urged Ford to remove Ghamari from his caucus.

Ford’s office initially said in a written statement that the premier was “extremely disappointed” in Ghamari’s decision to give a platform to someone whose behaviour and beliefs are at odds with those of the government.

Ghamari wrote in a subsequent statement that she condemns all forms of Islamophobia and antisemitism, and that she was not aware of Robinson’s history prior to their meeting.

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Ford’s office says he decided to remove her from caucus after that follow-up statement, with a spokesperson for the premier saying it “speaks volumes about her judgment and honesty.”

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