The Conservative Party’s executive director, Dimitri Soudas, was fired amid controversy surrounding his fiancee’s nomination bid in a Toronto-area riding, sources tell CTV News.

Although an email from the party’s president says that Soudas resigned, he was actually fired, according to several sources Sunday.

CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife tweeted that Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed off on Soudas’ firing, according to sources.

In an email obtained by The Canadian Press, on Sunday party president John Walsh told riding association presidents that he was “notified of the resignation of Dimitri Soudas as executive director, effective immediately.”

Soudas, a long-time Harper loyalist, had left a senior position at the Canadian Olympic Committee to steer the Conservative Party’s 2015 election campaign.

But when his fiancee, MP Eve Adams, decided to run in a different, newly-created Toronto-area riding of Oakville-North Burlington, things got complicated.

Adams, who currently represents Mississauga-Brampton South, is challenging chiropractor Natalia Lishchyna for the nomination. In recent weeks, local party members have accused Adams of using her taxpayer-funded privileges to send letters to voters in the new constituency. Adams said she didn’t break any rules.

Although Soudas had recused himself from any participation in the Oakville-North Burlington nomination, because of his relationship with Adams, some local party members still complained.

They said that Soudas drove Adams to a recent closed-door meeting of the local Conservative riding association, where she had a tense exchange with some of the members.

Wally Butts, a longtime party organizer, was dismissed shortly after writing about the meeting to party brass, further fuelling the outrage.

With a report from CTV’s Richard Madan and files from The Canadian Press