UPDATE @ 12:30
Labor leader Bill Shorten insists he didn’t force Sam Dastyari to resign but believes the outgoing Senator did the right thing.
Mr Shorten said Mr Dastyari is a “good decent and loyal Australian” and he is now paying the price for poor decisions.
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“Two weeks ago I demoted him over his poor judgement,” he said.
“There’s no doubt in the days since then Sam Dastyari has had discussions with other people including myself and recognised both publicly and privately that his career was going nowhere.
“His career in Federal politics is over.”
The Labor leader paid credit to Dastyari for the work he did while in office, including instigating a banking Royal Commission and continuing to speak for multicultural Australians.
EARLIER @ 10:00am
After weeks of pressure, Sam Dastyari has confirmed he will resign from Parliament over his links to Chinese political donors.
Last week, Mr Dastyari was fired from his parliamentary leadership roles over his involvement with donor Huang Xiangmao.
In June 2016, the outgoing Senator defended China’s action in the South China Sea during a news conference, contradicting Labor policy outlined by its then defence spokesman just days earlier.
Then in October 2016, Mr Dastyari met with Mr Huang in Sydney and reportedly told him they should leave their phones inside while they spoke outside and warned Mr Huan his phone might be tapped by Australian intelligence authorities.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) December 11, 2017
Speaking in Sydney today, he said he was resigning to prevent any further distraction for Labor.
“Today, after much reflection, I’ve decided that the best service I can render to the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party is to not return to the Senate in 2018,” he said.
“I have not reached this decision lightly but in my deliberations, I’ve been guided by my Labor values which tell me that I should leave if my ongoing presence detracts from the pursuit of Labor’s mission.
“I leave the Senate with nothing but good thoughts for our country and our people.”
BREAKING: Sam Dastyari has just announced his resignation from the senate. pic.twitter.com/2HB3REkmXD
— 3AW Melbourne (@3AW693) December 11, 2017
The outgoing Senator had been blasted by the LNP for his Chinese dealings and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said Labor leader Bill Shorten had to sack Mr Dastyari.
“Mr Shorten still has significant questions to answer about his own involvement in his discussions with Mr Dastyari,” Mr Dutton told Sky News.
“This is a real leadership test for Shorten, the reality is Bill Shorten is the leader of the Labor Party, yes he relies heavily on Dastyari’s support given his factional involvement in NSW, so the friendship between Dastyari and Shorten shouldn’t be underestimated.”
Mr Dastyari stayed true to the party lines, even with his last words, saying Bill Shorten is a “first-rate Labor leader” and “he will make a first-rate Prime Minister.