Bernier calls rival O’Leary a loser as Tories investigate vote-rigging claims

Conservative contenders spar over methods of signing up new members

OTTAWA – Conservative leadership hopeful Maxime Bernier is calling rival Kevin O’Leary a “loser” and “a bad candidate” as the party looks into claims of fraud and vote-rigging.

O’Leary issued a statement Thursday accusing an unidentified campaign of trying to buy its way to the top by using untraceable prepaid credit cards to sign up party members, which he said runs afoul of party rules.

The party says it is investigating the allegations.

Two sources not connected to O’Leary have told The Canadian Press it appeared Bernier’s campaign is the one under scrutiny.

But Bernier is firing back in a statement that says O’Leary is throwing mud in an effort to salvage his campaign.

Bernier says he has raised more money, enrolled more members and attracted more support and volunteers than O’Leary.

– The Canadian Press

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