Fatima Payman was compelled to quit the Labor Party on her support the Palestine!
Fatima Payman announced she is “grieving” after deciding to quit the Labor Party to sit as an independent. Labor’s president, Wayne Swan, claims this move will “empower Labor’s opponents on the far right.”
On Thursday, Payman explained that she felt compelled to leave Labor due to her advocacy for the Australian government to recognize a Palestinian state. She stated that voters were “frustrated” with Labor’s stance on the Gaza conflict and that her actions reflected “Labor values.”
Payman’s decision received mixed reactions. Government MPs expressed disappointment, while the Greens and crossbench praised her move. Several Labor, and Greens staffers and independent politicians attended her press conference.
Payman was indefinitely suspended from the caucus on Sunday after a TV interview in which she said she would continue to vote against her party on issues of Palestinian statehood. Despite attempts by Labor MPs to keep her on the government benches, Payman claimed she faced “intimidation” from former colleagues and inappropriate sharing of her situation.

Fatima Payman want Australia to recognize Palestinian State

Katy Gallagher, the manager of government business in the Senate, noted efforts to contact Payman, expressing concern over her decision to isolate herself from colleagues. Gallagher also mentioned that Payman had planned her move for some time, consulting political strategists about becoming an independent senator.
Bill Shorten, the government services minister, expressed sadness and disappointment over Payman’s departure, emphasizing the importance of the Labor Party’s collective identity. He acknowledged her strong feelings about Palestine but highlighted that she didn’t want to adhere to the rules she had agreed to.
Payman downplayed suggestions for starting her political party or joining the Greens in her press conference. She admitted to meeting with the Muslim Vote grassroots group and political strategist Glenn Druery but described these as part of the broader consideration of her political future.
Payman argued that Australia’s recognition of Palestine could help end the Gaza conflict, questioning the government’s stance of delaying recognition. She emphasized that recognition would pressure Israel to act more responsibly and that Australia could lead by example.
In response, Wayne Swan reaffirmed Labor’s commitment to caucus solidarity, warning that Payman’s decision could empower the party’s opponents on the far right and left. Despite this, Payman received praise from Greens leader Adam Bandt and independent senator Lidia Thorpe for her courage and independence.
Payman stated she would not automatically support Labor in future Senate votes, deciding on each bill individually. She acknowledged the significant impact of her decision on her political career and personal conduct in parliament.