NDP candidate in Montreal steps down, denies domestic abuse claim

MONTREAL — An NDP candidate has stepped down in a southwestern Montreal riding after allegations of domestic violence surfaced on social media.

Olivier Mathieu announced late Wednesday that he would no longer be candidate in the riding of Lasalle-Emard-Verdun so as not to distract from the party's campaign.

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Earlier Wednesday, CBC reported that Mathieu's former partner had levelled allegations against Mathieu on social media.

Mathieu called the allegations false and said he's determined to return to the party, but he won't run in 2019.

The ex-candidate says he'll work to clear his reputation in the coming weeks and says he has confidence in NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and his team.

A replacement has not been named in the riding, won by the Liberals in 2015.

"If we had not been in an election campaign, I would have worked to set the record straight and clear my reputation while continuing my work with the party," Mathieu wrote.

In Brampton, Ont., Singh was asked about candidate vetting and said the party's standards are high.

"People have to live up to our standards, and as soon as information arises where they're not meeting the standards we believe are important for our candidates to meet, we move ahead to ensure they're no longer candidates," he said.

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