OTTAWA—A leading Canadian opposition lawmaker resigned from a national security oversight committee and the Conservative Party caucus after saying he had sent sexually explicit material to a person who was trying to blackmail him.
Lawmaker Tony Clement said in a statement late Tuesday that he had in recent weeks sent images and a video of himself to someone he believed was a consenting female recipient.
“The recipient was, in fact, an individual or party who targeted me for the purpose of financial extortion,” Mr. Clement said in a statement late Tuesday.
He said Canadian police are investigating the matter.
Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer said on Wednesday that he asked Mr. Clement to take the additional step of resigning from the party’s caucus after learning of other allegations against Mr. Clement. “New information became available today that suggests that there are allegations that this was not an isolated incident,” Mr. Scheer said, without elaborating on the other allegations.
Mr. Clement, who is keeping his seat, has been in parliament since 2006 and served as a cabinet minister in the previous Conservative government. He also ran unsuccessfully for the party’s leadership and was the Conservative critic on justice issues.
In 2017, he was among a group of 11 lawmakers selected to serve on a new multiparty committee on national security and intelligence. The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians is meant to provide oversight of the government’s security and intelligence activities, which means its members are given access to classified information. Mr. Clement said on Tuesday that he was resigning from all of his committee roles, including the national security committee.
Stephanie Carvin, a professor at Carleton University in Ottawa and a former national security analyst with a Canadian government agency, said the situation could make Canada’s intelligence agencies more reticent about sharing information with the oversight committee.
“In a trust-building era for that committee, this is not helpful,” Prof. Carvin said. “If you’re putting yourself in position where you can be blackmailed, you can’t hold a position where you have access to classified information.”
Canada’s public safety minister, Ralph Goodale, said Wednesday that he doesn’t believe Mr. Clement’s situation affects the integrity of the committee.
Mr. Clement said that he had showed very poor judgment and apologized to his family for the “pain and humiliation my actions have caused.”
Write to Kim Mackrael at [email protected]