One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has launched an extraordinary spray at Senator Rod Culleton for voting against her party on the backpacker tax, further revealing tension within the party.
Senator Hanson told Sydney’s 2GB Radio the West Australian senator was not a “team player” and indicated she could no longer work with him.
She said Senator Culleton and Victorian senator Derryn Hinch were “all over the bloody place” after the pair came up with their own amendments to the backpacker tax last week.
“They wouldn’t have a clue what the hell they are doing, honestly,” she said.
Tensions within the party have been simmering since Senator Hanson publicly demanded an explanation from Senator Culleton last month after he failed to attend a meeting in her office.
On Tuesday, Senator Hanson revealed the relationship with Senator Culleton was close to breaking and launched an attack on his character.
“He is not a team player at all,” she said.
“We can’t work with him; you can’t reason with him and honestly I think the whole lot has gone to his head.
“He loves the limelight; he loves the publicity. He’s not really listening to the advice.”
Senator Hanson said Senator Culleton was intent on “running his own race”.
“I’ve been in this for 20 years and to have a new kid on the block telling me what to do is absolutely ridiculous,” she said.
Recount if election deemed invalid
The full bench of the High Court will hear a challenge to the election of Senator Culleton on Wednesday.
The court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, has been tasked with determining whether the senator breached section 44(ii) of the constitution.
If his election proves invalid, a recount of the vote will take place to choose his replacement.
Senator Hanson said a High Court ruling against Senator Culleton may not improve relationships within the party.
“If the High Court comes to the decision that he is not entitled to stand in that seat it will go back to a recount,” she said.
“In the recount, we will win the seat and I could end up with his brother-in-law. We are on the same merry-go-round.”
Senator Hanson insisted she would prevail through the tensions.
“There are tougher things than Rod Culleton in this world,” she said.