Labor’s Darling Range by-election candidate withdraws amid education records furore

Colleen Yates with Premier Mark McGowan.
Colleen Yates with Premier Mark McGowan.

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.

The by-election was forced when former Labor MP Barry Urban was found to have lied about his education and work experience.

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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 early Friday afternoon in a statement, saying “the intense scrutiny that comes with politics just isn’t for me”.

“It is with deep regret that I release this statement today, less than five days since being endorsed by the WA Labor Party to run as their candidate in the Darling Range by-election,” Ms Yates wrote.

“I am announcing my resignation as the Labor candidate for Darling Range.

“If I’ve learnt anything over the last few days, it is that the intense scrutiny that comes with politics just isn’t for me.

“This has been an extremely difficult time for myself and my family.

“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.

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