MP-elect Kevin Vuong says he will sit as an independent amid calls to resign

TORONTO — Amid calls for his resignation, MP-elect Kevin Vuong reiterated that he plans to represent Spadina-Fort York as an independent in the House of Commons.

Vuong released a new statement Saturday evening, announcing his intentions to keep his job.

“I have decided to continue as an Independent Member of Parliament for Spadina-Fort York and will work hard to serve the community,” Vuong said.

In the statement, he also apologized for “the lack the disclosure.”

The MP-elect was removed as the Liberal Party’s candidate for Spadina-Fort York two days before the election following a Toronto Star report that revealed Vuong faced a sexual assault charge in 2019 that was later dropped by the Crown.

His latest statement comes a day after the riding’s former Liberal MP Adam Vaughan urged Vuong to relinquish the seat. Speaking to CP24 Friday, Vaughan said Vuong lied and was not forthcoming during the vetting process.

“The reason he needs to resign is very clear. One, the mandate is compromised. He didn’t earn it with a clear vote and didn’t get a clear mandate,” Vaughan said.

The revelation of Vuong’s past charge came after thousands had already cast their vote in advanced polls. He also still appeared as the Liberal candidate on the ballot on election day as it was too late to remove him.

Vuong won the downtown Toronto riding with 38.9 per cent of the vote.

Since winning the seat, residents in the riding and officials have called for Vuong to step down.

Vaughan said he told the MP-elect to resign to show respect to the residents and that a byelection should be called to determine who will represent the riding in Ottawa.

He said Vuong ignored the advice.

“I warned him that in doing so, he was going to create significant problems for himself,” Vaughan said.

“If he takes office, he will take office under this cloud. He will take office in a way that is quite controversial and without, as I said, a clear mandate.”

Vuong has refused to talk to the media but has denied the allegations against him and said in an earlier statement issued earlier this week that he will “address them at a later date more wholly in a dedicated forum.”

In that same statement, he acknowledged that “not everyone is happy” he was elected.

“I appreciate that not everyone is happy with my election, and I very much understand why it is different in my case,” he said. “For those who feel this way, I understand the source of your doubts and I will work hard to earn your trust.”

– with files from Codi Wilson

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