JACQUI OF THE JUNGLE
Lambie on ‘Celebrity’ safari and has sights set on a comeback
ROGUE ex-senator Jacqui Lambie has unleashed on former political ally Steve Martin as she prepares for the African jungle on Ten’s I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! The show premieres tonight and Lambie, left, is using the popular reality series to campaign and connect with young voters. Ms Lambie told the Sunday Tasmanian she would bail out of the show if Prime Minister Scott Morrison called a snap poll – desperate as she is to reclaim her Senate seat after the High Court ruled her father’s Scottish heritage made her a dual citizen and her election in 2016 ineligible.
The 47-year-old independent has lost none of her fiery streak and is confident of winning her Senate role back from former Jacqui Lambie Network cohort Mr Martin, who inherited her seat when she was disqualified.
“I’m coming back for my seat. You blokes try and do me over, and I’m not putting up with it,” she said.
SHE is about to swing into the volatile world of reality TV, but Jacqui Lambie hasn’t waited to get into the jungle to unleash on everyone from former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, “shameful” Julie Bishop and the man who took her Senate seat.
As the rogue politician prepares to join Ten’s I’m A Celeb
rity, Get Me Out Of Here! she said the only thing that would convince her to quit the show was if the Morrison Government called a snap election.
Desperate to reclaim her spot in Parliament after the High Court ruled her father’s Scottish heritage made her ineligible for her Senate seat, Ms Lambie is using the reality show to campaign and connect with young voters.
Speaking before tonight’s premiere, the 47-year-old Tasmanian independent has lost none of her fiery streak, calling Mr Turnbull a “coward” for not standing up to his party, while exploding at his deputy Julie Bishop for doing too little, too late, to stop women being bullied in politics.
An angry Ms Lambie said Ms Bishop “wouldn’t have been overlooked for the leadership had she mentioned the bullying years ago”.
“I left the Liberal Party and made it quite clear it was a boys’ club, so how come I was the only one with the guts six years ago?” she said.
“She’s been up there for ages. Women like that don’t have my respect.
“I have no time for them when they talk this women’s lib stuff because they’re shameful. Actions speak louder than words.”
Ms Lambie had qualified praise for new crossbencher Julia Banks, who “got up and left, and good on her”.
She said Ms Banks “could have shown a little bit more backbone and named and shamed” the men she accused of bullying her during the last Liberal leadership spill.
“You know, finish the bloody job. This is what makes women look weak — when you start something, you get up and leave and you name and shame and get on with it,” she said.
Turning her ire on the men of politics, she said Tony Abbott had to be knifed as prime minister, arguing his “horror Budget of 2013, if he’d have rolled that out, him and Joe Hockey, with their cigars in tow, I tell you what it would have done to the people of Tasmania — it would have finished them off.”
She said Mr Turnbull had offered hope, but added: “I said, ‘ If he can’t grow a spine and stand up to his own men, he’s not going to last’ and that’s exactly what happened.”
As for Barnaby Joyce, Ms Lambie, a former soldier and veterans advocate, was scathing after his call to allow wives and girlfriends to work as staffers, which would have cleared the way for him to hire the mother of his child, Vikki Campion.
“I said, ‘You selfish bastard’. I’ve got soldiers over there who’ve spent five or six years in a war zone. Their wives don’t know if they’re coming back so how about you just do the right thing and leave your f---ing thing in your pants, that’d work,” she said.
Ms Lambie is confident of winning her Senate role back from former Jacqui Lambie Network cohort Steve Martin, who was second on the JLN ticket and inherited her seat by default.
Still seething at his refusal to stand aside so she could return, she said: “You could have stepped aside … I’m coming back for my seat. No bloke in Jacqui Lambie’s seat, right?
“You blokes try and do me over and I’m not putting up with it.”
Joining Ms Lambie in the jungle will be ex-AFL player Dermott Brereton, Hollywood celebrity reporter Richard Reid, ex-politician Sam Dastyari and Angie Kent and Yvie Jones of Gogglebox fame.
ON JULIE BISHOP I left the Liberal Party and made it quite clear it was a boys’ club, so how come I was the only one with the guts six years ago? ON MALCOLM TURNBULL I said: ‘If he can’t grow a spine and stand up to his own men, he’s not going to last’ and that’s exactly what happened. ON MP JULIA BANKS Finish the bloody job. This is what makes women look weak — when you start something, you get up and leave and you name and shame and get on with it. ON STEVE MARTIN You could have stepped aside ... I’m coming back for my seat. No bloke in Jacqui Lambie’s seat, right?