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I didn't want to pay bill, Dastyari admits

AAP logoAAP 8/09/2016 Rashida Yosufzai

Embattled Labor senator Sam Dastyari has finally admitted why he had a Chinese donor pay a personal debt, the self-described "mistake" which cost him his frontbench job.

"I asked them to pay it because I didn't want to pay it," he told Nine News outside his home in Sydney on Thursday.

Senator Dastyari quit as manager of opposition business in the Senate and consumer affairs spokesman after sustained pressure for allowing a Chinese donor to foot the bill for a travel overspend and reportedly taking a pro-China stance on the South China Sea at odds with Labor's position.

Asked what was going on in his mind when he accepted the payment, the Labor senator admitted: "Frankly it's pretty obvious not a lot."

He repeated earlier comments that he'd paid the price for his mistake and his resignation was the best thing he could do for the good of the party.

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