Scheer appoints floor-crossing Liberal as deputy leader of Conservative party

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Leona Alleslev

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is appointing a Toronto-area MP who crossed the floor from the Liberals just over a year ago as his new deputy leader.

The Canadian Press has learned that Leona Alleslev will be named this morning to replace former deputy leader Lisa Raitt, a longtime MP who lost her own Toronto-area seat in the October election.

Alleslev was first elected as a Liberal in 2015, but crossed the floor to join the Conservatives in September 2018.

She said at the time she disagreed with the Liberals’ handling of the economy and foreign affairs.

Her appointment as Conservative deputy leader comes as Scheer is trying to refocus his caucus on next week’s return of the House of Commons amid widespread dissent in the party over whether he should stay on as leader.

Two campaigns have now been launched seeking to mobilize the grassroots to vote him out at his leadership review in April.