Local MLA Peter Guthrie has called out the UCP board for cancelling the in-person party leadership review and reverting to a mail-in vote.

He says 15,000 Albertans registered to have their voices heard in Red Deer in Apr. 9, only to have the process tainted by a switch to a mail-in vote.

UCP president Cynthia Moore announced yesterday the board opted for a mail-in vote to ensure all party members had an opportunity to cast a ballot.

Guthrie insists that's not the real reason.

"Obviously, it became clear that the premier could not win an in-person review, and altering the rules was determined as the best course of action in the hopes of salvaging a win," says Guthrie. "In my opinion, this reeks of desperation."

He says Kenney has resorted to using the term "extremist" for anyone who opposes him.

"This is completely unfounded and unwarranted. It's a kind of politics of personal destruction. It uses identity politics to classify people so their opinions can be dismissed or cancelled," he says.

Guthrie calls for the UCP to move immediately to a leadership contest to save the credibility of the party.

"I believe they'll be a lot of interested candidates from all across the province to help restore faith in the process and repair trust in the role of leadership."

Guthrie released a full video today in response to the decision entitled "Trust and Integrity."