Arnold considers options for Tory leader

The Conservative caucus meets Thursday to select an interim leader to replace Stephen Harper

Mel Arnold hasn’t been sworn in as North Okanagan-Shuswap MP yet, but he’s preparing to make a big decision.

The Conservative caucus meets Thursday to select an interim leader to replace Stephen Harper after the party’s election loss Oct. 19.

“I am doing research on all of them and learning about their backgrounds,” said Arnold.

Those pursing the role of interim leader are MPs Diane Finley, Rob Nicholson, Erin O’Toole, Rona Ambrose, Mike Lake, Michelle Rempel, Denis Lebel and Candice Bergen.

Arnold says he hasn’t decided who he will support yet.

“I am looking for leadership skills, the ability to move the party towards the next election and holding the government to account,” he said.

It’s not known when the Conservatives will hold a race for the permanent leadership of the party.

It’s expected Harper will speak to the caucus Thursday.

“I’m sure it’s been a difficult time for him as it has been for members not re-elected,” said Arnold.

Because of the shift from a Conservative to Liberal government and a number of new MPs being elected, Arnold still hasn’t been assigned an office o Parliament Hill.

“A lot of shuffling is taking place and there’s a lot of people to move,” he said.

Arnold also hasn’t made a decision on where his riding office in Vernon will be located.