Labor candidate gone
THE WA Labor Party is facing fresh embarrassment after its candidate for the Darling Range by-election Colleen Yates withdrew amid a furore over whether she falsified her education records.
The move came just five days after she was unveiled by Labor as a candidate.
The by-election was forced when former Labor MP Barry Urban was found to have lied about his education and work experience.
Ms Yates said she had an MBA from the University of Western Australia on a LinkedIn profile she has since deleted.
It later emerged she had not completed the course.
Fairfax media contacted an American university Ms Yates also said she studied at and it claimed to have no record of her.
Ms Yates announced her intention to withdraw last Friday afternoon in a statement, saying “the intense scrutiny that comes with politics just isn’t for me”.
“This has been an extremely difficult time for myself and my family,” she said. “I stepped down from my job as a chief executive officer to run for Darling Range.
“I was ready to throw my heart and soul into the campaign. I was in it, to win it. I knew running in this by-election would bring an increased level of scrutiny on the candidates, but I wasn’t prepared for what came.
“How I portrayed myself on my LinkedIn account is, in my opinion, similar to how thousands of people would input their data on the online service.
“However, these minor mistakes will now haunt me for the rest of my life.”
Premier Mark McGowan said he respected Ms Yates’ decision.
Meanwhile the Greens have announced disability advocate and support worker Anthony Pyle as its candidate for the June 23 by-election.
Mr Pyle contested the seat of Armadale at last year’s State Election but ultimately lost to Labor MLA Tony Buti.
Mr Pyle said he was thrilled to have been preselected and promised he would fight for those who needed help.
“I grew up in social housing, relying on the social safety net to keep me and my family safe and secure, so I know what it’s like to go without,” he said.
Colleen Yates with Premier Mark McGowan.