Labor 'needs to learn' from Payman quitting party: MP

Federal Labor needs to learn from Fatima Payman's decision to quit and move to the Senate crossbench, a pro-Palestine member of the party says.

Senator Payman on Thursday quit the party over her stance on Palestinian rights and freedoms, saying Labor had to celebrate dissenting voices if it wanted to represent them.

NSW Labor MP Anthony D'Adam, who has been sacked from parliamentary secretary roles after speaking out against police treatment of pro-Palestine supporters, said the party needed to examine itself.

"Shutting down debate and differing opinions is not the Labor way," he said on social media platform X.

"Hopefully this will be the trigger for a broader discussion in the party about how our parliamentary parties operate.

"While the rules provide for it, I support caucus solidarity and have always adhered to it."

While Senator Payman will move to the crossbench for the remainder of her term in the upper house - due to expire in 2028 - Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has put pressure on the senator to hand the seat back.

"Fatima Payman received around about 1600 votes (from WA voters)," he told reporters on Friday.

"The ALP box above the line received 511,000 votes.

"It's very clear that Fatima Payman is in the Senate because people in WA wanted to elect a Labor government.

"That's why they put a number one in the box above the line, next to Australian Labor Party, rather than voted below the line for any individual."

Senator Fatima Payman (centre) after crossing the floor.
Senator Fatima Payman (centre) sat with senator David Pocock after crossing the floor. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

Senator Payman said she had raised recognising Palestine - which Labor has affirmed to do but with no timeline and some caveats - with the prime minister and senior ministers but was unable to secure change.

Timely recognition was needed to put pressure on Israel to "cease its onslaught" in Gaza and was something she could not compromise on, she said.

Contemporary Australia is full of diverse communities and Labor must celebrate dissenting voices if it wants to represent them, the senator said, adding there should be the possibility of more conscience votes.

"What Australia is looking like today is very different to what it was 20, 30 years ago," she told ABC Radio on Friday.

Figures within the party have since backgrounded against Senator Payman, triggering anger from fellow crossbenchers.

"Senior Labor figures" quoted in The Australian newspaper raised concerns about the WA senator's Afghan citizenship.

Senator Payman declared her citizenship before the election and was supported by Labor as a candidate.

She has declared she made representations to renounce her citizenship but could not go further because of the Taliban government.

She said she had received legal advice affirming she was eligible to contest as a candidate due to the "impossibility" of progressing her application after approaching the embassy.

Independent senator David Pocock - who had to deal with dual citizenship issues before running - called out the politicking.

"Raising questions about her eligibility under section 44, by people from the same party who took responsibility for ensuring the eligibility of her candidacy and now are too cowardly to put their name to the allegations, is such grubby politics," he told AAP.

"I hope people will see this backgrounding and smear campaign for what it is."

Constitutional lawyer Anne Twomey said it was unlikely the case would make it to the High Court as the 40-day challenge period had expired and it was up to the Senate to refer the case.

"The Labor Party would have some difficulty doing that as they took the view when they endorsed her as a candidate, so they would have to reverse that," she told AAP.