JAC­QUI OF THE JUN­GLE

Lam­bie on ‘Celebrity’ sa­fari and has sights set on a come­back

Sunday Tasmanian - - Front Page - HOLLY BYRNES Na­tional TV Ed­i­tor

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?

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