19 November, 2014. 11:37
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | [email protected]
PALMER UNITED PARTY senate deputy Jacqui Lambie has been stood down this morning by leader Clive Palmer.
The move follows a deepening animosity between Mr Palmer and Senator Lambie over her involvement in a weekend rural summit hosted by Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm.
The past weekend saw many of the minor party senators retreat to David Leyonhjelm’s farm at Hargraves, near Mudgee in Midwestern NSW.
Senator Lambie was pictured with former One Nation’s leader Pauline Hanson as they posed together with a wild boar they killed on Leyonhjelm’s property.
Pauline Hanson has announced her return to the One Nation party to become its leader after a 12-year hiatus.
The serial candidate wants to win a Queensland seat and will prepare the party for next year’s Queensland election.
On the day her ascent was announced, Ms Hanson has already taken a swipe at foreign ownership, Halal and multiculturalism.
She announced her comeback on One Nation’s website, saying she would dare to raise issues which were politically incorrect.
Clive Palmer has expressed his disappointment at being snubbed by his small party colleagues.
“I don’t understand how you can call it a “small party summit” and not invite me,” he said.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon says that some big issues were tackled during the two-day rural rendezvous.
“Pauline Hanson was a keynote speaker. She was the first truly controversial MP who stood alone against the two parties,” he said.
“I’m not going to comment on that photo, though.”
Senator Leyonhjelm has remained uncharacteristically silent over the ordeal, releasing a statement that outlined that “everybody has their own interests and hobbies”.
On Monday, Mr Palmer said he would not be asking Senator Lambie to resign from her position, despite their falling out.
“We haven’t asked her to leave. She’s a member of the Palmer United Party, she was elected as a Palmer United senator and she should follow the Palmer United procedures like the Labor Party or the Liberal Party,” he said.
“If you want to go pigging with Pauline Hanson, you make sure not to be caught doing it,”
“At least Senator Leyonhjelm had the common sense not to be photographed.”