Date: 29 November 2017
Source: Perth Now
A second British university has cast doubt on the academic qualifications of Labor MP Barry Urban as the politician yesterday entered his second week of being absent from Parliament.
Portsmouth University, where the member for Darling Range claims to have been awarded a post-graduate degree in police studies, has told the Australian website True Blue that it has no record of Mr Urban.
Leeds University has already confirmed it could find no evidence that the Labor MP received a bachelor of arts in health and physical education, which he claims in several documents.
True Blue is a voluntary law enforcement news and information website and became concerned about Mr Urban’s credentials after he confessed to wearing a fake overseas police service medal and claimed it was awarded for investigating war crimes in Bosnia.
“I have been unable to locate any student record with the details as given below,” Portsmouth University’s student records administrator said in an email to the editor of True Blue.
A university official confirmed the university had sent the email and that it would double-check its records in response to a separate request for information from this newspaper.
The latest concerns about Mr Urban’s background comes as a photograph surfaced that shows the MP in a United Nations uniform, which suggests he served in Cyprus in the late 1980s, as stated on his resume.
The photos were published in July in a local newspaper in Mr Urban’s electorate. His service in Cyprus has not been disputed, but still in doubt are his claims of being a war crimes investigator for the UN in Bosnia.
“I think it’s important that he clears the air as soon as possible, as soon as he can,” Premier Mark McGowan said yesterday.
“If he’s not mentally and physically ready to do that, well then I think perhaps it could be next year. But I think it would be better for everyone, including him, to do it as soon as possible.”
Mr McGowan’s inaction prompted calls from the Opposition for the Premier to make a full statement to Parliament about the Urban affair.
“He’s pushing it on to Barry Urban, but Mark McGowan is the leader of the Labor Party and it’s up to him to make an accurate statement to the Parliament and public about the accuracy of Mr Urban’s claims,” Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said. “This goes to the suitability of Mr Urban to remain in the Labor Party and as the member for Darling Range.”
Mr Urban lied about how he obtained the fake police medal, which he has worn at Anzac Day and Remembrance Day services.
He initially blamed British police for sending him the wrong medal before admitting to buying it from a Perth military shop.