Bloc Quebecois leader Mario Beaulieu tried put the best spin on the loss of one-quarter of his caucus Tuesday.
Jean-Francois Fortin quit the party and will serve out his term as an independent, saying Beaulieu is too radical and intransigent, and that the party he joined "no longer exists".
At a news conference this afternoon, Beaulieu accuses Fortin of being disloyal to the separatist cause, saying Fortin has his own agenda, and is looking to 'torpedo' the Bloc.
"It seems...that Mr. Fortin has a hidden agenda," Beaulieu told reporters. "We intercepted an email last month where Fortin spoke of forming a new federal party."
Beaulieu, a hardline separatist and French-language crusader and former head of Montreal's St. Jean Baptiste Society, narrowly won the Bloc Quebecois' leadership earlier this year over André Bellavance, one of the three remaining Bloc MPs.
Beaulieu, who does not have a seat in the House of Commons, insists his approach will revive separatism and bring the Bloc back to the prominence it once enjoyed.