One Nation is no longer the biggest voting bloc in the Senate crossbench, after Western Australian Senator Rod Culleton announced he was splitting with the party and called leader Pauline Hanson “unAustralian”. He said in a media release:

“Policy decisions have been run in morning media, with no consultation, discussion or agreement from the party room and personal attacks and undermining, un-Australian behaviour towards myself and my team, has been ongoing and terms dictated to the team.”

Hanson has hit back on morning television, saying Culleton wasn’t a team player and didn’t turn up to party meetings because he was dealing with his own legal issues. “I am sorry to the people. I didn’t expect him to be this type of man,” Hanson said.

Hanson’s loyal offsider Malcolm Roberts also put the boot in on social media, writing:

“Our duty is to work with Pauline to continue serving the people of our state and the people of Australia. Pauline is one of the very best people I’ve ever worked with across Australia and overseas. She has done everything anyone can reasonably expect to support Rod.

“She’s amazing.

“I value the stability, integrity and calmness she and James Ashby have shown in dealing with Rod’s emotional states. It’s a privilege working with them both and I fully support them.”

A public bust-up, in true Australian Christmas tradition.

Peter Fray

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