The governing Liberals and the New Democrats have panned Doug Ford as a step backwards for the Tories, accusing him of currying favour with the party's socially conservative elements.

The Liberals issued a statement saying: "With the selection of Doug Ford, Ontario Conservatives have chosen corporate interests over workers, religious extremism over the rights of women, and cuts at the expense of our health care and education."

NDP leader Andrea Horwath says Ford is a "divisive character" who would take Ontario backwards with more cuts and privatization - the exact opposite of what Ontario needs