B.C. NDP candidate resigns over nude scandal
Darcy Wintonyk, ctvbc.ca
Published Tuesday, September 23, 2008 8:20PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2012 6:06PM PDT
The B.C. NDP candidate who admitted to exposing himself to teens 12 years ago has resigned from the party.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Julian West - the NDP candidate for Saanich Gulf Islands - said he did not want his candidacy to "detract from the campaign or from the issues".
West says the NDP party has accepted his resignation and he was "going back to his private life."
On Sunday, West admitted he went skinny dipping with teenagers at a 1996 environmental retreat, but insisted nothing inappropriate happened.
But that statement was contradicted by a retreat participant, who said the New Democrat had a partial erection in front of the young girls.
"We were doing face-painting and he decided he wanted to get his legs painted, and some of the girls were painting his legs, and he took off his underwear and he had a partial erection and said 'why stop there girls?''' said Leah Jones, during a phone interview with CTV.
Jones, and six other female retreat participants, vowed to write NDP leader Jack Layton to call for West's resignation.
The incident resurfaced in an email that was sent to CTV by a high-ranking member of the Liberal Party of Canada.
West is not the only candidate in the tiny Saanich-Gulf Islands to be exposed for past nudity.
Liberal candidate Briony Penn posed nude as Lady Godiva to protest against logging on Saltspring Island in 2001. But Penn has defended her actions vigorously, saying they are very different from West's.
"In my instance, I certainly would say I consulted the Vancouver Police and was very respectful of the law and never broke any laws," Penn told CTV News.
Trouble for the NDP
Julian West is the third NDP candidate to resign in B.C. in less than a week.
West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea-to-Sky Country candidate Dana Larson and Vancouver-Quadra hopeful Kirk Tousaw both handed in their resignations after videos appeared on the Internet of them smoking marijuana.