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Adams not barred from seeking nomination, but party still investigating

Beleaguered Conservative MP Eve Adams has been admonished by party brass for her conduct in a controversial nomination battle, but has not been disqualified from seeking the prize.

Ms. Adams had faced the risk of being barred from seeking the nomination in a suburban Toronto riding after Stephen Harper was presented with accusations that she had been granted unfair advantages in this race, had interfered with the district's election planning, and verbally abused party members.

Instead, sources say, the Conservative National Council reprimanded her with regard to her treatment of local Tory workers.

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The National Council approved letters in a Wednesday night meeting that are being sent to Ms. Adams and a riding official who had complained about how she pursued the nomination in a suburban Toronto riding, sources say.

The council is, however, still investigating – and has asked for a financial accounting of how much Ms. Adams has spent on the nomination race – and what has been donated – so far. It wants to see how close she is to spending limits for the nomination campaign.

The Tory MP has fared better than fiancé Dimitri Soudas, a former key aide to Stephen Harper who vacated a top Conservative Party post last month after extensive evidence arose that he'd violated a contractual pledge not to intervene in the nomination race on Ms. Adams's behalf.

The decision of the National Council means Ms. Adams is free for now to continue her campaign to win the Tory nomination for Oakville North-Burlington.

She currently represents a Mississauga seat but is trying to make the jump to the Oakville riding, where she has purchased a home and where data from the last couple of elections suggest the Tories might have a better chance of winning.

Sources say that for the National Council, the most serious allegation was that Ms. Adams verbally abused Tory officials at a board meeting to which she was not invited. A Conservative source said Mr. Harper was especially unhappy about this accusation.

Ms. Adams, for her part, told The Globe and Mail last week the accusations against her contained a "slew of inaccuracies" and has filed a rebuttal of these accusations with the party.

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The Conservative Party had little to say on the matter Wednesday evening but made it clear they expect would-be candidates to watch their conduct.

"We expect that all campaigns and candidates will respect the rules of the Conservative Party of Canada on all matters related to nominations," Conservative Party spokesman Cory Hann said in a statement.

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