Ex-Tas Labor leader defies calls to quit

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Embattled former Tasmanian Labor opposition leader David O'Byrne is clinging to his political life, defying calls from his successor and former premiers to resign after a sexual harassment probe.

On yet another day of turmoil for Labor since their third straight state election loss earlier this year, an upper house member also quit, citing a "toxic environment" and "obvious problems" within the party.

Labor leader Rebecca White on Monday morning said she hoped Mr O'Byrne would tender his resignation from parliament at a party room meeting.

It came after former Labor premiers Lara Giddings and Paul Lennon called on him to resign.

Mr O'Byrne instead issued a statement saying he will not be part of Labor caucus as the situation was "untenable", but intended to remain in parliament as the Labor member for Franklin.

"I have committed my life to working to make a positive difference for people and have always believed that being in parliament as part of a representative democracy is the best way to do that," he said.

"Despite the last few difficult months, I still believe that remaining in parliament and giving voice to the many issues confronting everyday Tasmanians is not only important but crucial in making a positive difference."

Labor last week determined no further action was required following an independent investigation into allegations Mr O'Byrne sexually harassed a junior union colleague.

Rachel Midson accused Mr O'Byrne of kissing her and sending her inappropriate text messages without her consent in 2007 and 2008.

Mr O'Byrne has admitted to the conduct but said he believed at the time it was consensual. He has rejected Ms Midson's assertion it amounted to sexual harassment.

Ms Midson has lashed the investigation, saying she has no faith in its outcome.

Ms White said her call for Mr O'Byrne to resign came after discussions with parliamentary colleagues, telling media the saga had consumed the party.

"The community expects leaders like us to uphold certain standards and I don't believe in this instance that David has upheld those standards," she said.

Mr O'Byrne was appointed Labor leader after the May poll loss, but stepped down from the role a few weeks later after the allegations were made public.

First-term Labor legislative council member Bastian Seidel, meanwhile, announced he would quit state politics in December.

"The problems in the Labor Party are obvious," he said.

"I can't work in a toxic environment and I can't work with people who constantly leak information to the media out of pure selfishness.

"I don't enjoy political infighting. Compared to others I actually don't get a kick out of it.

"It is sad and depressing and too often I felt like I was a disposable pawn in someone else's stupid game."

Ms White said she understood Dr Seidel's frustrations with the party, saying it was terrible someone with his credibility had been lost to Labor.

Dr Seidel backed the leadership of Ms White, who was at the helm at recent election defeat and was reappointed after Mr O'Byrne stood down.

Mr O'Byrne is expected to address parliament on Tuesday on the first day back from the winter break.

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