MP Barry Urban Quits WA Labor Amid Doubts About Past

WA MP Barry Urban has resigned from the Labor Party over scandals about his past, eight months after being elected to parliament .

The Member for Darling Range released a statement on Wednesday announcing he was quitting but would sit in Parliament as an independent, after informing Premier Mark McGowan of his decision.

“I have advised the Premier Mark McGowan and WA Labor that I have resigned my party membership,” Mr Urban said.

“I look forward to continuing to represent the members of the Darling Range community in Parliament.”

Mr Urban will also resign from the Public Accounts Committee and the Joint Standing Committee of Audit.

He will return to State Parliament on Thursday.

“I intend to make a full statement on this matter in greater detail tomorrow in Parliament.”

The announcement came after the 48-year-old former British police officer was caught wearing an Australian Police Service Media he claimed he was awarded but instead had purchased online.

It led to questions about his background, including his university record.

Premier Mark McGowan told parliament he wished Mr Urban well as an independent MP.

“No doubt this was a difficult decision,” Mr McGowan said.

“It’s been a very distressing time for him indeed to cope with all the humiliation”.

“I think he has done the right thing for himself, for the party and his family.”

Mr McGowan said he hoped Mr Urban’s decision “assists him in dealing with the issues that have confronted him”.

The Premier said he had not spoken to Mr Urban in more than a week, when asked in Parliament if he had forced Mr Urban out of the Labor Party.

He had repeatedly played down the prospect of Mr Urban being forced out of the party, claiming he wanted to hear Mr Urban’s explanation before making a decision.

Opposition leader Mike Nahan said Mr Urban should be referred to a parliamentary procedures committee to examine evidence against him.

“The claims bring into question his suitability as a member of this House,” Dr Nahan said.

Mr Urban was elected in the March election, defeating former Liberal Party local government minister Tony Simpson.

His resignation does not impact Labor’s control in in the Legislative Assembly, the party still holding 40 of 59 seats.

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