No ifs, ands or Butts - prominent Liberals say Iain Rankin was wrong in rejecting former candidate

Criticism of Iain Rankin’s rejection of former Dartmouth South Liberal candidate Robyn Ingraham continues to mount, including from an unexpected group: prominent Liberals.

Cole Harbour-Dartmouth PC candidate Karina Sanford renewed a call to Iain Rankin to explain what his campaign team did and publicly apologize to former Dartmouth South Liberal candidate Robyn Ingraham.

“Iain Rankin doesn’t need to speak with Robyn Ingraham to find out what his inner circle did. She has spoken her truth and she doesn’t owe Iain Rankin a conversation after what his party did to her,” said Sanford. “Iain Rankin has had more than enough time to talk to his senior officials about their contacts with Robyn Ingraham and provide a detailed accounting of what his campaign team did to her.”

Gerald Butts, a Cape Breton native and longtime advisor to Justin Trudeau, is the latest prominent Liberal to say that Iain Rankin’s Liberals were wrong to disqualify Robyn Ingraham. In a tweet, Butts said he agreed with former federal Liberal Green Light Committee member Neeta Kumar-Britten who, in an opinion piece, wrote that she would have approved Ingraham as a candidate. Kumar-Britten also took the Rankin Liberals to task, noting: “The bigger question is, after this experience, whether or not Ms. Ingraham can live comfortably under their tent.”

Dartmouth-area Liberals like Emmett Austin have also criticized the party's approach to candidate recruitment. They say local involvement in candidate recruitment has been replaced by Iain Rankin’s office.

“This is bigger than party politics. This is about leadership. Nova Scotians are looking for solutions, not evasions,” concluded Sanford. “After more than a week of avoiding these serious questions of sexism and misogyny involving his Liberal Party, Iain Rankin needs to show a level of accountability and transparency that Nova Scotians expect from someone who wants to be Premier.”

In contrast to Liberals outside of Iain Rankin’s inner circle, not a single member of Iain Rankin’s team has spoken out in support of Ingraham.