OTTAWA (Reuters) — Canada's opposition Liberal Party kicked two members of Parliament out of caucus on Wednesday following separate allegations of personal misconduct in the workplace.
The Liberal Party, which is leading in the polls ahead of next October's federal election, wrote to House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer to say the two members would not sit as Liberals, effective immediately.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau named the two as Massimo Pacetti and Scott Andrews, but gave no details on the allegations. He said the two men have denied the allegations, which he said were levelled by two members of Parliament from another party.
Local media identified the party as the opposition New Democratic Party. NDP official Karl Belanger said the party was not in a position to confirm this.
NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, however, did make a brief statement to reporters in which he said: "Everyone who works in these places has a right to be in a secure work environment free of harassment."
The Liberals are the third largest party in the House of Commons after the NDP and the governing Conservatives.
Trudeau said the suspensions are pending the outcome of an investigation into the allegations, and said it was important that the process encourage people who may have been hurt to make their charges.
"It must be sensitive to all affected parties but, recognizing how difficult it is to do so, it must give the benefit of the doubt to those who come forward," he told reporters.
Trudeau said Pacetti and Andrews' candidacies for the 2015 election have also been suspended.
The two men did not immediately respond to calls to their offices seeking comment.