Budgie Niner Jack Walker Quits Christopher Pyne's Staff

The 26-year-old says he's suffered "deep regret for embarrassment".

09/10/2016 8:31 AM AEDT | Updated 09/10/2016 9:55 AM AEDT
Lai Seng Sin / Reuters
Jack Walker, one of the nine Australian men detained for stripping down to their underwear at the Malaysian Grand Prix, has quit his political position.

One of the so-called 'Budgie Nine', federal government staffer Jack Walker, has stepped down from the office of federal MP Christopher Pyne in the wake of the international incident in Malaysia.

SBS News reports that Walker, 26, handed in his resignation to the Defence Industry Minister on Saturday evening.

Walker was one of 9 Aussies detained after celebrating last week's Malaysia Formula 1 Grand Prix win by Australia's Daniel Ricciardo. The men were arrested after they were sighted at the track in their swimwear emblazoned in the Malaysian flag.

They also copied the Red Bull Racing driver's unusual winning celebration that involves drinking alcohol out of a shoe after he took out the Malaysian GP.

The men's shenanigans flew in the face of the conservative Muslim nation's standards of behaviour and dress and resulted in them spending time in a police cell.

All up, the men spent 4 days in in detention but were released without conviction after saying sorry to the Malaysian people for "a moment of folly".

The men, all in their 20s, returned to Australia this week where they fronted the media to account for their controversial antics.

And now it looks like the international blowup has cost Walker his high-profile job.

Pyne told SBS News: "Jack Walker has today offered me his resignation and I have accepted it.

"Jack indicated to me his deep regret for causing any embarrassment to the Government and apologised," the statement reportedly said.

The job on Pyne's staff was worth a whopping $150,000 per year, NewsCorp Australia reports.

The man whom the budgie nine were feting when they got into trouble, Ricciardo, defended the groupo at the time, saying they were "excited" but should have been "more careful".

He told The Huffington Post Australia he only heard about the incident after it happened.

"Obviously I'm aware of it, but at the time I wasn't. There was a big sea of people below the podium," he said.

"At the time they thought it was a bit of harmless fun, and were enjoying the celebrations. It was a while since I won [a race] and they were excited. They didn't realise the effect it would have on the locals."

More On This Topic