Senators of all stripes have lined up to defend the clerk of the upper house after Clive Palmer accused her of interfering in affairs of the parliament.
The Palmer United Party leader launched the extraordinary attack after Rosemary Laing last week advised the PUP that their amendments to the carbon tax were unconstitutional.
Mr Palmer has denied reports he had yelled at Dr Laing last Thursday.
However, he said the clerk shouldn’t “interfere” with legislation, comparing her advice to “what happens in Stalinist Russia”.
Labor’s Senate leader Penny Wong defended Dr Laing, saying all clerks acted with “integrity, impartiality and professionalism”.
Greens leader Christine Milne said a clerk’s job was not to be directed by senators.
“They’re helpful, they’re impartial, and they are certainly not there to be abused by senators,” she told ABC radio.
Democratic Labour Party senator John Madigan described Dr Laing and her staff as impeccable.
“The staff of the Senate are not to be attacked,” he told ABC radio. “I think it is a low blow. It does Mr Palmer no credit.”