Entertainment TV Hanson struggles to explain Latham’s no-show

Hanson struggles to explain Latham’s no-show

Pauline Hanson
"I don't have a leash on any of my members of parliament," Pauline Hanson told Studio 10 of Mark Latham's absence. Photo: Twitter
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In a bizarre segment on Network 10’s Studio 10 on Wednesday, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson had to defend new star recruit Mark Latham’s no-show from the live TV spot.

Senator Hanson was left stranded with an empty chair between her and co-host Sarah Harris to face pointed questions about Mr Latham’s whereabouts.

The appearance had been locked in to promote the former Labor Party leader’s announcement earlier in the day that he’s returning to politics and will run for the NSW parliament for One Nation.

But, apparently at the last minute, Mr Latham pulled out of the commitment.

As Harris put it, “On your big announcement day he’s not here. This empty chair next to you speaks volumes to the voters who do want change and do want people to stand by their word.”

Senator Hanson got on the front foot but gave an odd analogy to explain why Mr Latham was AWOL.

“We will stand by [our] word, but, and I’m sure you have all been in the same positions that you’ve actually made commitments and the general public know that too,” she said.

You’ve made an appointment with the hairdresser but the dentist needs, you know. So everyone breaks some appointments.”

Asked where her high-profile recruit was, Senator Hanson admitted she didn’t “exactly” know.

She was then pressed by the show’s co-host Joe Hildebrand: “I don’t understand. You’re leader of the party, he is meant to be here with you and then at the last minute he says ‘No’ and you don’t know where he is?”

Senator Hanson pushed gamely on.

“His staff have taken him, I got out here, he went with his staffer … so anyway, that’s where it is at the moment, there was other commitments he had to make,” she offered.

Asked what other commitments, Senator Hanson replied, “I haven’t got a leash on Mark.”

She said they had “been together for the last six hours before I had to come in here” and repeated that Mr Latham had other commitments.

Later in the show, Hildebrand got the bit between his teeth. In an awkward segment, he became extra bolshy and fronted Mr Latham outside a Sydney building.

Pestered by Hildebrand – who insisted Studio 10’s producer had not been told Mr Latham was pulling out – about the no-show, a Latham staffer repeatedly said the phrase, “We had always said that we would not be able to do that today.”

At one point, Mr Latham – who initially offered just a hard stare and head shake at the Ten host’s grilling – explained where he’d been during the Studio 10 spot.

I’ve been here doing an interview with the ABC,” he said. “I had another commitment.”

Told by Hildebrand he had “embarrassed” Senator Hanson on his first day as a One Nation candidate, Mr Latham said, “I’ve got no idea what Joe’s talking about.”

He was more expansive on Wednesday morning, warning “men” and “white people” are being discriminated against.

Confirming he will run for the NSW Legislative Council, Mr Latham billed his political comeback to 2GB broadcaster Alan Jones as a “fight for civilisational values”. 

He told Mr Jones “free speech, merit selection, resilience, love of the country, all of them under siege from the Left.

“So it’s a big fight, as we say every week, I’m at a position and a stage in life where I just can’t stand on the sideline talking about I want to get stuck in as a legislator and as a Parliamentarian.”