Friday, 17 November, 2017

Hanson loses replacement senator - before he is even sworn in

The One Nation candidate confirmed he owned the Townsville sex shop. Source Facebook The One Nation candidate confirmed he owned the Townsville sex shop. Source Facebook
Laurie Berry | 13 November, 2017, 11:39

Pauline Hanson's party is in tatters after One Nation senator-to-be Fraser Anning quit the party only an hour after being sworn in, opting to run as an independent instead.

One Nation Senator Fraser Anning was sworn in this morning, but was escorted into the chamber by Senators Cory Bernardi and David Leyonhjelm, rather than his party colleagues as tradition dictates.

Senator Anning, who has lived in Gladstone and owned pubs in the region, had been announced as Malcolm Roberts' replacement in the Senate, but will stand as an independent "until something else comes along".

But the final straw was the One Nation leader's decision to exclude Senator Anning's staff - who formerly worked for Mr Roberts - from a party room meeting on Monday morning, just before the swearing in by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.

The One Nation leader then sought to speak to Senator Anning but could only contact his brother, Harry. Hanson, apparently forgetting they're public servants paid for by the taxpayer, accused the four of "disloyalty to their former employer and myself", and said they "were not welcome to this morning's Party room meeting" as a result.

He states that departure didn't constitute as a defection in his mind, and that "the next thing I knew, I saw on the TV that I had supposedly become an independent. I'm not just going to be on the sidelines", she said.

However, Anning now says he was "verbally attacked" over his staffers, and that the abuse was "so vitriolic that I was obliged to simply walk out".

"It seems without even contacting me, Pauline has unilaterally kicked me out of her party".

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Senator Anning issued a media release recently, demanding Senator Hanson pledge her support for him, and on Saturday publicly questioned whether her advisers approved of him. "I have to say that I'm stunned". "If I'm no longer a One Nation senator, it is because Pauline has expelled me by press release".

The so-called One Nation "battler bus" has been touring regional Queensland since Monday.

Senator Hanson's statement claims Mr Anning informed the party he would stand as an Independent only minutes before he was sworn into the Senate.

But Senator Hanson said he had dismissed the request on the grounds he and his wife were moving to the U.S. to join their two daughters and grandchildren.

The two One Nation Senators in the chamber did not appear to congratulate their new colleague, instead shaking hands with the new Greens Senators sworn in today.

Asked if Anning might join the Liberal Democrats Leyonhjelm said he had not spoken to him about that. He first stood for the seat of Fairfax for One Nation almost 20 years ago in John Howard's GST election.

"I indicated to Harry Anning at the time, that given the work Malcolm Roberts had achieved as Chair of the banking inquiry and his role in challenging climate change, it would be in the Federal Party's and Australia's best interest for Malcolm Roberts to be returned to the Senate".

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