Senator Sam Dastyari has announced he will not return to federal politics in 2018, after his questionable links to China made his position untenable.
Senator Sam Dastyari has announced he will not return to Federal Parliament in 2018, saying he fell on his sword for the good of the Labor Party.
The resignation follows Bill Shorten’s decision last month to relieve him of his parliamentary leadership roles because of the furore over his relationship with Chinese political donor Huang Xiangmao, which included telling the Communist Party-linked businessman that his phone may be tapped.
Mr Dastyari says the Labor Party was suffering because of the accusations levelled against him, and had no choice but to hand in his notice.
“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 told reporters in Sydney today.
“I’ve 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.
“It is evident to me we are at that point, so I will spare the party any further distraction. I love the Labor Party.
I will spare the party any further distraction. I love the Labor Party.
“I love the Labor Party… I know Australia needs a Labor government and I refuse to let my personal situation put that prospect at risk.”
He also maintained that he had always acted with integrity and was loyal to Australia.
“Reflecting on the events that lead to my decision, I leave knowing I have always honoured my parliamentary oath, I’ve always acted with integrity, and I remain a loyal patriotic Australian.”
The opposition leader commended Mr Dastyari on what he achieved in his parliamentary roles.
“I told him I thought this was the right decision. I thanked him for his service to the Parliament, to the state of New South Wales and to the Australian Labor Party,” Mr Shorten said in a statement.
“Sam Dastyari is a good, decent and loyal Australian, and an effective parliamentarian, but his judgment has let him down and now he has paid the heaviest price.
“Sam can be proud of what he has achieved during his time as a senator.
“Sam is also a talented and tireless campaigner — his passion, organising skills and boundless good humour has engaged a new generation of progressive activists. I am sure Sam will continue to make a valuable contribution to our country in whatever he chooses to do.”