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Bernardi like an angry prostitute: Lambie

AAP logoAAP 1/09/2016 Belinda Merhab

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie has likened government backbencher Cory Bernardi to an "angry prostitute", before apologising to prostitutes for the comparison.

Senator Bernardi has led the charge against Labor's Sam Dastyari, who has come under fire for having a personal debt paid by a Chinese donor.

He's called on the Labor frontbencher to stand aside, suggesting the matter had the "stench of corruption".

Senator Lambie said Senator Bernardi's mock outrage was "like an angry prostitute lecturing us about the benefits of celibacy".

"Before I receive unfair criticism from the sex workers, I apologise to them profusely for comparing them to Senator Bernardi - I know that is a really terrible low-down thing to do," she told parliament on Thursday.

"Prostitutes are far more honest, sincere, humane, compassionate and better bang for buck than Senator Bernardi will ever be able to deliver."

Senator Dastyari insists the payment was properly declared on his pecuniary interest register and he's now donated that amount to charity.

Senator Bernardi says Senator Dastyari's position as manager of opposition business in the Senate is "entirely untenable" and he should stand aside until he can explain the circumstances surrounding the payment.

Attorney-General George Brandis has called on Senator Dastyari to explain several payments by Chinese interests, suggesting he may be "compromised".

Senator Bernardi said Senator Lambie's comments were "shameful", reflecting poorly on him and his side of politics.

He's asked Senate President Stephen Parry to review Hansard to check whether Senator Lambie withdrew the comments as she was asked to.

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