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Saskatchewan Senator Denise Batters launched a petition last year challenging the leadership of Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole.Mark Taylor/The Globe and Mail

Conservative MPs from Saskatchewan have decided to confirm Senator Denise Batters as a member of their provincial regional caucus, slightly more than two months after Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole kicked the senator out of the national caucus for publicly challenging his leadership.

Three Conservative sources confirmed to The Globe and Mail that the regional caucus reached the decision this week. The Globe is not identifying the sources as they were not authorized to comment on a private meeting.

Mr. O’Toole kicked Ms. Batters out of the Conservative national caucus in November for launching a petition in mid-November that called for a review of his leadership within the next six months.

Senator Denise Batters kicked out of Conservative caucus over challenge to O’Toole’s leadership

In a video posted online at the time the petition was launched, Ms. Batters directly challenged Mr. O’Toole’s leadership.

“Mr. O’Toole has watered down and even entirely reversed our policy positions without the input of party or caucus members. On carbon tax, on guns, on conscience rights – he flip-flopped on our policies within the same week, the same day, and even within the same sentence,” she said at the time.

Mr. O’Toole announced Ms. Batters’s ouster to reporters in November just as the caucus was entering two days of meetings in Ottawa.

He said then that as Conservative Leader, “I will not tolerate an individual discrediting and showing a clear lack of respect towards the efforts of the entire Conservative caucus … .”

While Ms. Batters was removed from national caucus, she remained a member of the Conservative caucus in the Senate.

Mathew Clancy, a spokesperson for Mr. O’Toole, said in a statement Friday that Ms. Batters had been removed only from the national caucus.

“After Ms. Batters was removed from national caucus, she could continue to attend regional and Senate caucus,” he said in an e-mail.

There have been various signs of internal friction between Mr. O’Toole and at least some elements of his Conservative caucus since the party returned to Ottawa with slightly fewer seats and a slightly lower share of the popular vote than the party obtained in 2019 under former leader Andrew Scheer, who was re-elected as an MP and who remains a member of the party’s Saskatchewan caucus.

Ms. Batters was a close adviser to Mr. Scheer when he was leader.

One recent sign of internal tension emerged over the party’s position regarding whether to push to revive a special parliamentary committee that probed Canada-China relations.

Five Conservative MPs – Garnett Genuis, Pierre Paul-Hus, John Williamson, Chris Warkentin and Michael Cooper – recently went public in expressing concern that the party has not been more forceful in pushing for the committee’s revival.

The Conservative Party is the only one on Parliament Hill that allows affiliated senators to sit as part of caucus. Ms. Batters is the only Conservative senator from Saskatchewan.

Ms. Batters’s office referred questions on the decision to Conservative MP Kevin Waugh, who is the chair of the Conservatives’ Saskatchewan regional caucus. Mr. Waugh did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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