The United Conservative Party candidate for Calgary-Mountain View has stepped down after allegations that she used white supremacist rhetoric.

Caylan Ford stepped down overnight, citing allegations from the website “Press Progress” that she had used white supremacist language in Facebook messages.

Press Progress says they obtained the messages though a Muslim conservative with ties to the party.

In the messages, Ford is quoted as saying that “white people are being replaced in their homelands”. They also quote her saying there is a double standard between Islamic and white terrorists after a 2017 terror attack in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In a statement, Ford says she stepped down to “avoid becoming a distraction” in the campaign. She says the comments are not reflective of her views.  

NDP leader Rachel Notley addressed the controversy in a press conference on Tuesday.

"I do not personally believe Jason Kenney is racist. But I do believe the UCP as a party has a problem with racism."

Kenney responded to the allegations at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, saying that Ford chose to resign and was not fired.

“Let me be clear, I condemn the remarks included in the text that she had sent,” he told the media.

Kenney also said that allegations that there is a racist stigma associated with the party are false.

“We have a remarkably diverse team of candidates, so we will continue to demonstrate our embrace of today’s Alberta in the campaign to come, and hopefully if we earn the mandate as government.”