Ex-cabinet minister Guergis says cleared by police

Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:15pm EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - A former Canadian cabinet minister said on Wednesday that police have cleared her after investigating allegations that Prime Minister Stephen Harper brought to their attention.

In April, Harper kicked Helena Guergis, a junior minister, out of his cabinet and caucus and called in the police to look into what he said were serious allegations about her behavior.

Harper never provided details. The dismissal sparked a wave of speculation about Guergis and her husband, former Conservative Member of Parliament Rahim Jaffer, and pulled the Conservatives down in the polls.

In a brief statement, Guergis's office said the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had informed her lawyer that they have concluded their inquiry and would be taking no further action.

"The RCMP has concluded that there was no substance to any of the issues forwarded to them by the Prime Minister's Office," the statement said.

"All concerns relating to Ms. Guergis have been resolved and no issues remain outstanding."

Guergis had increasingly become an embarrassment for Harper's minority government even before the incident, partly because of a widely reported temper tantrum at an airport but also because of her husband's relations with businessmen with shady reputations.

Polls show the Conservatives have a narrow lead in popular support over their main rival, the Liberal Party, but could struggle to form even a stable minority government if an election were held now.

(Reporting by Louise Egan; editing by Peter Galloway)

<p>Canada's Minister of State for Status of Women Helena Guergis (R) receives a standing ovation while speaking during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 17, 2010. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>