PM issues Fatima Payman indefinite suspension, with future in Labor unclear

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jul1,2024
Key Points
  • Senator Fatima Payman has been indefinitely suspended after declaring her intention to cross floor again.
  • She said she believes she upheld the party’s views with a conscience vote on the issue of Palestinian statehood.
  • It is unclear if Payman will remain at the ALP
Senator Fatima Payman has been indefinitely suspended from the Labor caucus after declaring she would repeatedly flaunt the party’s voting rules and cross the floor on the issue of Palestinian statehood.
Payman on Tuesday became the , voting for a Greens motion on the recognition of a Palestinian state.
Under internal rules, Labor MPs cannot cross the floor and vote against the party’s policy positions. Payman was initially suspended from caucus for a week over the move after a “stern but fair” call with the prime minister.
Despite facing possible expulsion, Payman told ABC’s Insiders program that she would do it again as she
“It depends on what is brought forward in the Senate … if the recognition on the state of Palestine was to be brought forward tomorrow, I would cross the floor,” she said Sunday morning.
“We’re talking about 40,000 Palestinians being massacred here,” she added.
“And so that’s why I will use what is within my power as a backbench senator to continue advocating for a just and lasting solution. And I think that’s what Australians want.”

The Western Australian senator was reportedly called to the Lodge on Sunday afternoon following the interview, with an indefinite suspension issued unless Payman was willing to “respect caucus”.

“By her own actions and statements, Senator Payman has placed herself outside the privilege that comes with participating in the federal parliamentary Labor Party caucus,” a government spokesperson said.
“If Payman decides she will respect the caucus and her Labor colleagues she can return, but until then Senator Payman is suspended from the right to participate in federal parliamentary Labor Party caucus meetings and processes.”
It is understood the first-term senator has not been expelled from the party, but her future is unclear only hours after vowing she had no desire to quit caucus over the issue.

“No, I do not have any intention,” she told Insiders before the meeting.

Payman feels she abided by Labor principles when crossing floor

Payman said she feels she “abided by the principles” of Labor, a party “with a conscience” that champions human rights “whether that be justice, fighting for freedom or equality”.
She said you could not have the most diverse parliament without embracing a “diversity of views”.
Payman admitted the decision to cross the floor had resulted in a cold shoulder from party colleagues who remain divided over the vote, which failed 42 to 13.
Israel has bombarded Gaza since Hamas’ 7 October attack in which more than 1,200 people, including an estimated 30 children, were killed and over 200 hostages taken, according to the Israeli government. Almost 38,000 people have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, including more than 14,000 children, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

The 7 October attack was a significant escalation in the long-standing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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