Labor urged to prevent ‘Dastyari itch’ from becoming a rash

Pressure is building on Labor senator Sam Dastyari to quit the Parliament, including from within the ALP.

Senator Dastyari is again being pressured to go because of a report in Fairfax Media that he urged Labor's deputy Tanya Plibersek not to meet pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.

Fairfax said it had confirmed this with multiple sources who say the intervention by one of her colleagues surprised Ms Plibersek.

Rumours of attempts by Senator Dastyari to lobby Ms Plibersek over her visit to Hong Kong have circulated in Canberra for more than a year.

He has since denied that report, saying it did not occur, but Ms Plibersek's spokesman told the ABC the meeting with the activist in Hong Kong went ahead as scheduled.

Labor frontbencher Linda Burney said this morning "it is now up to Mr Dastyari to consider his position".

"And I am sure he is doing that," Ms Burney told Sky News.

"In relation to the continued role of Sam within the Parliament, that is a matter I think very much for Sam.

"Sam Dastyari, I am sure, is thinking very deeply about his role within the party."

Coalition figures have renewed their demands for Labor leader Bill Shorten to tell Senator Dasytari to quit.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton called Senator Dastyari a "double agent" and said he must resign from the Senate.

Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg told RN: "The Dastyari itch is soon becoming a rash and will be an outbreak engulfing the whole of the Labor Party unless Bill Shorten shows Sam Dastyari the back door."

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