Dimitri Soudas announced at a Conservative caucus meeting on Wednesday that he is stepping down from his position as Stephen Harper’s chief spokesman and leaving the PMO. A Montreal native, Soudas advised Harper on most issues related to Quebec and communications—including the controversial list of journalists pre-approved to interview the Prime Minister. Soudas is known to favour the more right wing factions of the Quebec Conservatives, such as the Action Démocratique du Québec. Party insiders predict his departure will benefit the Conservatives in Quebec. Soudas began his nine-year career in Montreal municipal politics and joined the PM’s side in Ottawa in 2002, when Harper was still leader of the Canadian Alliance. Soudas will officially retire in early September, when he and his family will make the move from Ottawa to Toronto.