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Andrew Wilkinson is BC Liberals' new leader

Former BC Liberal cabinet minister beat out Dianne Watts in close race

 Andrew Wilkinson is a Rhodes scholar with degrees in medicine and lawAndrew Wilkinson is a Rhodes scholar with degrees in medicine and law

In a long preferential selection process Saturday night February 3, Wilkinson, who was in third place for the first four counts, emerged as winner in the fifth count, beating out former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts with 4,621 vote to Watts' 4,079.

The vote took place over three days. Roughly 60,000 Liberal Party members voted, about half of them new.

In his victory speech, Wilksinson made it clear he would continue to lead the Liberals as a free enterprise party, emphasizing values of enterprise and fiscal responsibility.

“We are he party that does not spend our children's money,” he said.

Wilkinson said his first job will be ensuring Liberal candidate Ben Stewart wins in an upcoming byelection in Kelowna West, vacated by former Liberal leader Christy Clark, whose resignation as leader and MLA prompted the leadership contest.

He said his next task would be fighting against the proportional representation referendum planned by the Green Party-backed NDP government.

Wilkinson is a Rhodes scholar, with degrees in law and medicine, has served as MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena since 2013, and was s minister of advanced education and technology, innovation and citizens’ services under the Clark government.

More to come.

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