MP Marwan Tabbara leaving Liberal caucus after charges laid

Former Kitchener South—Hespeler MP Marwan Tabbara. Supplied

Kitchener South—Hespeler MP Marwan Tabbara is facing several charges after being arrested in Guelph, Ont. on April 10.

Guelph police said the Liberal MP has been charged with assault, break and enter and commit an indictable offence and criminal harassment.

Tabbara said in a statement Friday afternoon that he would be “stepping back” from the Liberal caucus while the matter proceeds through the courts.

“Other than to state unequivocally that every incident of violence is unacceptable and inexcusable, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further while this matter is before the court,” he said.

Tabbara, 35, said he is receiving counselling for anxiety and depression.

Story continues below advertisement

He is scheduled to make a court appearance on June 19. There is a publication ban in place which prevents Global News from revealing any details obtained from court documents.

A spokesperson from the Prime Minister’s Office told Global News, “we are looking into the matter.”

NDP MP Charlie Angus, who said he was “floored” by Tabbara’s arrest, called for standards in cases where MPs are facing criminal charges.

“We don’t know the case. We don’t know what the details are. And this is something to be dealt with in the courts,” said Angus, the party’s ethics critic.

“But we really need to establish standards in Parliament that if somebody is under suspicion and under charges, they have to step aside from their duties and the prime minister needs to send a very clear message that there is a zero-tolerance policy in place when people are charged with such serious crimes or any crimes.”

Tabbara was first elected in 2015 in the riding, which includes the Hespeler area of Cambridge and the southern portion of Kitchener.

Story continues below advertisement

He said Friday he would continue in his role as MP.

I think Mr. Tabbara needs to really consider what he’s going to do in terms of offering service,” Angus said. “I think his staff can continue to help people, but he needs to step aside.”

Representatives for the Conservative Party did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Friday afternoon.

— With files from Kerri Breen, Global News

Sponsored content