One Nation splits with new senator
THE newest parliamentarian appointed to represent One Nation in the Senate quit the party yesterday only an hour after being sworn in, saying his relationship with the leader “went to hell in a handbasket”.
The High Court announced last week that One Nation candidate Fraser Anning would replace former senator Malcolm Roberts, who was ruled ineligible to sit in parliament as a casualty of the dual citizenship saga.
Senator Anning was sworn in yesterday morning as a Queensland senator, but a short time later One Nation leader Pauline Hanson made the shock announcement he had defected from the party.
But Senator Anning denied quitting One Nation, saying he was kicked out of the party without notice.
“The next thing I knew, I saw on the TV that I had supposedly become an independent. This was news to me!” Senator Anning told Guardian Australia.
“It seems without even contacting me, Pauline has unilaterally kicked me out of her party. I have to say that I’m stunned.”
Later in an interview with The Australian, Senator Anning said his two-decade friendship with Ms Hanson suddenly went south yesterday morning when the leader indicated she wouldn’t work with four of his staff who had previously worked for Mr Roberts.
“As she knows, I’ve supported her in all her election campaigns,” Senator Anning said.
“I ran for One Nation in ’98 and my wife and I considered Pauline a close friend, but that all went to hell in a handbasket this morning. When I walked into this meeting this morning I was very rudely told that none of my staff were to walk in here.
“That was Pauline.
“Pauline was on her high horse a bit. She got pretty rude to (chief of staff ) David (Goodridge) and said he’ll never come anywhere near me. I’m not sure why.”
In a statement, Senator Hanson said she had attempted to convince Mr Anning to resign to create a casual vacancy for Malcolm Roberts.
“I had attempted to speak with Mr Anning while he was overseas, but those efforts fell on deaf ears,” Senator Hanson said.
“I was forced to communicate through Fraser’s brother while I was travelling through North Queensland in September.
“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.
“I was disappointed Mr Anning made no attempt to contact me or any One Nation executive member off the back of multiple requests.”
Also yesterday, former Australian Democrat Andrew Bartlett was sworn in to replace former Greens senator Larissa Waters, who resigned in July after finding out she held Canadian citizenship.
Jordon Steele-John, 23, was sworn in to replace another Greens senator, Scott Ludlam, who also quit after revealing he was a dual citizen.
The developments came as the two major parties struck a deal on how to deal with MPs’ citizenship disclosures.
MPs will need to publicly disclose family history and any steps taken to renounce dual citizenships under a motion expected to pass the Senate.
The government has agreed to Labor’s request for a December 1 disclosure date and for more details to be disclosed.