Former Toronto councillor Doug Ford says he will run for the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, announcing his bid days after Patrick Brown stepped down amid sexual misconduct allegations.
Ford said he wants to prevent the party from falling into the hands of "insiders" and "elites" and that it needs strong leadership.
"I have been deeply troubled by what I have seen recently unfolding within the PC Party," Ford told reporters in Etobicoke, a district in the west end of Toronto.
"Lifelong supporters have been watching in horror as it falls into complete disarray. We have seen backroom politics at its worst, insiders trying to politically capitalize at the expense of the people, elites who are disconnected from the grassroots of the party and don't care about the average struggles of Ontarians."
Ford says of recent developments in the Ontario PC party: 'We have seen backroom politics at its worst.' (Makda Ghebreslassie/CBC)
Ford said he would be the candidate to "clean up the mess" and change the "hostile environment" of the party.
"This is truly a critical moment for our party, for our people and for the future of our province," he said.
Ford, who took no questions, noted that "the elites" of the party "do not want me in this race."
Doug Ford says he will run in Ontario PC leadership race - Toronto - CBC News