No extra staff for ex-Liberal Craig Kelly

·1-min read

No additional staff will be allocated by the prime minister to freshly independent Craig Kelly despite their long history, a Senate hearing has been told.

"He will not," Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said on Monday when quizzed by Labor senator Tim Ayres.

"Mr Kelly was not elected as an independent or a crossbencher."

He confirmed Mr Morrison did not have advance warning of the defection last month, which leaves the coalition just 76 out of 151 seats in the lower house and could usher in a less rogue candidate in the seat of Hughes next to the prime minister's seat of Cook.

The hearing was also told that a set of allegations against a senior adviser to Mr Kelly were known to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, unlike the still unread Christian Porter dossier and the Brittany Higgins matter.

Frank Zumbo denies the allegations of sexual harassment of young women, including kissing the neck of an intern in Mr Kelly's office, and has not been stood down while NSW Police investigates.

"The prime minister did have conversations with Mr Kelly setting out expectations about the staff in question," Senator Birmingham said.