Leslyn Lewis has officially decided to skip out on the Conservative party's next leadership debate.

Her campaign says it informed the race's organizing committee she will not attend the "all-candidate event" set for Aug. 3.

The five candidates vying to replace former leader Erin O'Toole have been told by the party they are expected to appear in Ottawa for a third and final official debate before results are revealed Sept. 10.

Longtime MP Pierre Poilievre, the contest's perceived front-runner, has announced on social media he won't attend because he is focused on getting out the vote.

Lewis had expressed concerns about the need for another debate and in a recent open letter to the party asked whether it would cover topics including abortion and the World Economic Forum, issues she says members are inquiring about.

Under Conservative rules, candidates who do not attend party debates will be fined $50,000.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 28, 2022.

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