Australian senator quits shadow cabinet over China payments row

Australian senator quits shadow cabinet over China payments row

Australian senator quits shadow cabinet over China payments row

In case you missed all the Coalition crowing over the last week, the resignation is linked to a $1670 travel bill incurred by Dastyari previous year that was paid by a company with links to the Chinese government.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten strongly admonished the NSW senator on Tuesday but refused to stand him down from his positions as Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs and Manager of Opposition Business.

Dastyari, 33, had previously apologized for asking the Chinese company to pay the travel bill, while rejecting claims he accepted donations in return for any service.

At the time, Senator Dastyari said he had not offered nor had he been asked for a resignation.

"It is clear to me now that this has become a distraction". "I refuse to be the reason they escape proper scrutiny", Senator Dastyari said.

Senior government minister Christopher Pyne has lashed out at suggestions the company at the centre of the Sam Dastyari scandal received preferential treatment after donating to the Liberal Party.

Labor's policy is to ban foreign donations, ban anonymous donations above $50, reduce the donation disclosure threshold from $13,000 to $1,000, and introduce new offences for abuses of the disclosure process.

The Senator said no donors had asked for anything in exchange for the funds, but despite repeated questioning, he has not explained why he chose to ask Top Education to cover his bill.

Bill Shorten is standing by Senator Dastyari and declared Thursday that "getting a lecture about courage from Malcolm Turnbull is laughable".

Shorten said in a statement: "Sam made a mistake and now he's paying a heavy price. He is a bright young bloke, with a lot of passion and a lot of ideas to offer Australia and I'm sure that in the future he will come back".

Despite - or perhaps because of - attempts by Senator Dastyari to explain his actions, the Prime Minister said it had been "perfectly obvious" for days that Senator Dastyari had to been stood down.

"I'm confident he will continue to make a strong contribution to my team". "If the rule in Australia is that any mistake is a hanging error, then we're going to end up with a much more boring Parliament".

"It was the wrong thing to have done", he said.

"I was concerned about the proposal and despite the fact that they had been significant contributors to the Labor Party, the case was not able to be sustained", he told ABC radio.

"Who've would've thought that Sam Dastyari had higher standards than Bill Shorten", he said.

'He has a prospect, while he remains in the Senate, of coming back'.

The comments came shortly after a hard press conference for Senator Dastyari, who could not explain why he had asked the Top Education Institute to pay off his $1670 travel overspend - or why the company had readily complied.

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