OTTAWA -- Another potential contender for leadership of the federal Conservatives is backing away from the race.

John Williamson, a member of Parliament from New Brunswick, says he won't enter the contest.

Williamson is one of several people who began contemplating a run after former interim party leader Rona Ambrose and current MP Pierre Poilievre backed out.

Both are popular in what's known as the conservative movement -- people active in promoting right-wing ideas through think-tanks, academia or advocacy groups.

With his own background at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Williamson was seen as part of that group and had considered filling a perceived gap left by Ambrose and Poilievre's decisions not to run.

But in a statement, Williamson said now is not the right time, though he declined to give a specific reason.

Candidates for the leadership contest have until Feb. 27 to register and so far only two have met the first entry requirements: Erin O'Toole and Peter MacKay.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 11, 2020