Queensland senator Pauline Hanson will abstain from voting to censure her former One Nation party colleague Fraser Anning because it won’t “prove a damn thing”.
In a fiery face-off with fellow crossbencher Derryn Hinch on Sunrise, party leader Senator Hanson downplayed her past connection to Senator Anning, whose comments about Muslim immigration incited global outrage in the wake of Friday’s Christchurch massacre.
“For you to say that is absolutely disgusting,” she told Seven’s Sunrise when asked if she had picked Senator Anning to run for One Nation because of his white supremacist views.
“No, I didn’t pick him because of that.”
The besieged senator also rejected claims from co-host David Koch that the terrorist manifesto, written by accused gunman Brenton Tarrant, had a similar rhetoric to her party’s immigration policies.
“This terrorist manifesto almost reads like One Nation immigration and muslim policy. Do you in any way feel complicit with this atrocity?” Koch asked.
Senator Anning entered parliament in late 2017 as a replacement for One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts, who was disqualified from sitting in the upper house because due to his dual citizenship.
Senator Hanson kicked him out of the party on his first day when he refused to step aside and allow Mr Roberts to return.
After sitting as an independent in a loose alliance with other right-wing crossbenchers, Senator Anning joined Katter’s Australian Party before he was booted out after a few months over racist comments.
Senator Anning has been branded a “disgrace” by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australian leaders for blaming the Christchurch mosque massacre on Muslim immigration.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison echoed that sentiment, saying that Anning should “be hit with the full force of the law” for striking a 17-year-old boy, who smashed an egg over his head during a press conference on Saturday.
When parliament resumes next month the coalition government and Labor plan to jointly move a censure motion condemning his comments.
But Senator Hanson doesn’t see the point of a censure motion.
“A censure isn’t going to prove, it’s not going to do anything … what is a censure? It will not prove a damn thing,” she said on Monday.
“The people will have their say, not politicians out there beating their chest about all of this.”
More than one million people have since signed a change.org petition to have Anning sacked from parliament. It is the largest online petition in Australian history.
‘Eggboy’ deserved slapping: Anning
Senator Anning says the mother of a teenage boy who broke an egg on his head should have slapped her son around a long time ago.
The Queensland federal MP also said he was acting in self-defence when he struck the Melbourne boy who’d just cracked the egg on the back of his head during a press conference on Saturday.
He also says a press statement in which he blamed the Christchurch mosque massacre on Muslim immigration was taken out of context.
But the independent senator again said citizens should have a say on how many migrants are allowed to settle in Australia and who is allowed to stay.
“It’s all okay for politicians who live behind their high fences, they don’t have to rub shoulders with these people, but (it is) the people in the street who are being attacked,” he told reporters in Brisbane on Monday.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has urged voters to dump Senator Anning, who’s been branded a disgrace for his comments on the Christchurch terror attack.
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