One of Bill Shorten's senior advisers has quit, amid a 'blackface' whispering campaign against him

Photo: Lisa Maree Williams/ Getty Images.

A long-serving staffer of Bill Shorten’s quit over the weekend following a “blackface” costume debacle.

Steve Michelson resigned from the ALP leader’s office on Sunday, saying he has “decided to hang up my staffer boots to spend more time with my family”.

Photos of Michelson dressed in a curly wig and blackface at a fancy dress party in 2007 have been circulating in Labor circles in recent weeks. The Australian reported that the circulation of the picture was believed to have been orchestrated by a factional enemy.

Michelson, who has worked for Shorten for over five years, announced his departure in a Facebook post, saying: “Working with Bill Shorten and the entire Labor team has truly been a privilege however the time has come for two little kids to see a bit more of their Dad.

“I still passionately believe in the Labor Party and the union movement. I’m also more sure than ever before that a Shorten Labor government will do great things for everyday Australians.”

Michelson is a former ALP branch president and has been touted as a future candidate for the federal seat of Isaacs.

His resignation comes as factional infighting ramps up over preselection battles in the Victorian ALP.

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