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Liberal MP Darshan Kang resigns from caucus amid sexual-harassment allegations

Liberal MP Darshan Kang is pictured in this 2015 file photo. Kang resigned from the Liberal caucus Thursday night.

Chris Bolin/The Globe and Mail

Calgary MP Darshan Kang resigned from the Liberal caucus Thursday night amid allegations that he sexually harassed two female employees in his office.

In a statement Thursday night, Mr. Kang said he wants to focus on clearing his name. His resignation from caucus comes as he faces allegations of sexual harassment from two women in his Calgary constituency office, reported by the Hill Times and Toronto Star in recent weeks.

"I appreciate that Parliament has provided for due process, and a fair and objective policy for resolving this matter," Mr. Kang said. "I also very much appreciate that I am being provided an opportunity to provide my perspective to the independent investigator of the chief human resources office of Parliament."

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Earlier: Liberal MP Darshan Kang proclaims innocence after sexual-harassment allegations

In a separate statement earlier this week, Mr. Kang said he was placed on medical leave as a result of the stress he has experienced since the allegations were levelled against him. He said he was innocent and would defend his reputation.

The Hill Times originally reported that a young female employee in Mr. Kang's Calgary constituency office said Mr. Kang sexually harassed her. The Toronto Star then revealed he had tried to pay the woman $100,000 to stay quiet about her sexual harassment allegations against him.

Mr. Kang's resignation Thursday came hours after The Hill Times published another story detailing allegations of sexual harassment from a second woman who worked for him when he was an Alberta MLA.

"I'd come inside his office, and sit down. And, then he'd sit down next to me and lean in and grab my breasts, or kiss me. And I'd say 'stop,' and he would start to get very forceful about demanding that I stay," Kirstin Morrell, who worked for Mr. Kang between 2011-12, told The Hill Times.

When asked Monday if Mr. Kang would be expelled from caucus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not directly answer the question.

"I can assure people that our whip's office and the human resources of the Parliament of Canada are engaged as they must be in this process," Mr. Trudeau said.

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Liberal whip Pablo Rodriguez's office has said it referred the allegations to the House of Commons' chief human resources officer, who cannot comment on files for privacy reasons.

The House of Commons adopted a harassment policy for matters between MPs and their staff in 2014; unionized and administrative staff are covered under another framework. The policy outlines resolution options for harassment complaints and assigns responsibility for discipline to the party whips, who are allowed to hand over management of the complaint to the chief human resources officer if they wish.

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