UCP begins search for new leader with Jason Kenney stepping down

The race for a new United Conservative Party leader is gearing up after Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced he’s stepping down.

Kenney garnered 51.4 per cent support in a review of his leadership, which is just enough for him to keep his job under party rules.

Read more: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney intends to step down as UCP leader after narrow leadership win

But on Wednesday night he said that result isn’t good enough for him to stay on as leader and that many members have asked for the opportunity to clear the air.

Two former leaders of the Wildrose Party, which merged with the Progressive Conservatives to form the UCP in 2017, have signalled they intend run for the leadership.

Read more: Kenney’s plan to step down as UCP leader shows how hard merging 2 parties is: political commentator

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Brian Jean, who lost to Kenney in the inaugural UCP leadership race and has been an outspoken Kenney critic, thanked the premier for his “decent and honourable concession.”

Danielle Smith, a radio host following her stint in provincial politics, says the results show the UCP is hungry for a leader who will fight for Alberta’s interests.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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