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Lambie warned on going solo

Senator Jacqui Lambie. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING
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Outspoken Senator Jacqui Lambie. Photo: AJacqui Lambie’s inevitable split from the Palmer United Party will make life much tougher for the government, a Senate crossbencher warns.

Senator Lambie and leader Clive Palmer had a public brouhaha last week and speculation is mounting that she’ll pull the plug on the PUP.

Palmer extends olive branch to Lambie 
Lambie sacked as deputy leader

She’ll return to Canberra on Monday after a fashion make-over, following a weekend of soul searching in a log cabin in Tasmania.

Liberal Democratic Party senator David Leyonhjelm said the senator’s defection could spell interesting times for the government’s legislative agenda.

Previously, the government had focused on securing support from Mr Palmer’s block of four votes.

“If there’s four groups of two and no group of three … it will be more interesting for the government,” he said.

“But I guess it also means they won’t be beholden to Clive.”

The government will have to work much harder to secure votes from four loose subgroups – Senators Lambie and Ricky Muir; PUP Senators, Senators John Madigan and Nick Xenophon and Senators Leyonhjelm and Bob Day.

Last week, in a surprise twist Senators Muir and Lambie sided with Labor to reverse government changes to Labor’s financial advice laws, despite previously voting twice with PUP to keep the changes.

“Jacqui and Ricky are determined to be independent … determined to go their own way,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.

“They are quite convinced they’ve been snowed in the past.”

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