Darling Range MP Barry Urban Quits Politics as Report Recommends Expulsion

Embattled Western Australian Independent MP has quit politics, triggering a by-election in his electorate of Darling Range.

He resigned from parliament on Tuesday, ending a saga over his police service medal and false education qualifications as the Procedure and Privileges Committee revealed he should be expelled for lying about his background.

“The Legislative Assembly finds that the Member for Darling Range, in committing the contempts above, has committed a sustained and gross contempt of Parliament, and has abused the privilege of freedom of speech,” the report said.

“The Legislative Assembly expels the Member for Darling Range as a member of the Legislative Assembly, and declares the seat … vacant by reason of such expulsion.”

The report revealed Mr Urban lied about his police and military service and education.

The committee recommended that the Assembly revoke privileges Mr Urban would have as a parliamentary member.

However, Mr Urban formally resigned from parliament before he could be expelled.

Premier Mark McGowan said during question time he was sorry for appointing Mr Urban, apologising to the people of Darling Range.

“I am sorry to the people of Darling Range that this has occurred,” Mr McGowan said.

“This is very unfortunate and I do take my share of responsibility for what’s occurred.”

Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said “the government is in large part at fault” for Mr Urban’s situation.

“This is a dark day for parliament,” Mr Nahan said.

“The Labor Party failed to adequately vet Mr Urban’s bona fides.”

“It was only the persistence of the media the opposition that forced the issues into the public arena and forced the government to act.”

He said the Privilege Committees findings were “profound”.

“They found deliberate acts of lying and forgery to the parliament, to the privileges committee and most importantly, to the people of Darling Range,” Mr Nahan said.

The Opposition said it would consider the issue on Wednesday before the state Budget.

Mr Urban’s resignation will result in a by-election for his seat.

Mr McGowan said earlier Labor will fight a by-election in Mr Urban’s seat.

“It will be a difficult contest, a hard contest,” Mr McGowan said.

“We will run as hard as we can. We have a good story to tell as a State Government. We’ve got the State back on track, we’re creating jobs, we’re building a rail line to Byford and we’re building a new school in Byford south.”

Mr Urban won Darling Range after 19 per cent swing, giving him with a margin of 5.8 per cent.

“In the State election campaign there was a hug swing in the seat of Darling Range and I expect there would have been a huge swing just on the prevailing mood,” Mr McGowan said.

“Any by-election will be a difficult contest in these circumstances.”

Mr Nahan said the by-election could come soon.

“I think the government will call the election very quickly,” he said.

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