Former Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie has claimed fellow crossbencher Nick Xenophon took her on a “date” to Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The maverick politician, who is promoting her new autobiography Rebel With A Cause, opened up about single life during an interview with Brisbane radio station Hit 105 on Monday morning.
Asked about Barnaby Joyce’s affair with his former staffer Vikki Campion, she jokingly lamented she was no longer in Canberra now that it had become “50 shades of Parly”.
“I can’t win with this single stuff,” she told breakfast show hosts Stav, Abby and Matt.
“I’m single when everything’s playing up in Parly. There really is no God is there? Fair go.”
She also revealed the “date” with Mr Xenophon, who is vying to hold the balance of power in the upcoming South Australian state election as leader of his SA-Best party.
“I did try with Nick Xenophon once but he took me on a cheap date – cheapskate,” she said.
He took me to Kentucky Fried Chicken so that was it.”
Ms Lambie joked she may have “changed my mind” if Mr Xenophon had chosen a nicer restaurant.
“He may have got to first base, who knows,” she said.
Mr Xenophon told Adelaide’s Hit105’s hosts Amos, Cat & Angus on Tuesday morning he reckoned it “wasn’t a date”.
“I think to call it a date would be like to call this interview flirting,” he said, adding he was not a “cheapskate.”
“If Jacqui wants to feel it was a date … Jacqui’s a great mate of mine,” he said.
“I was in north-western Tasmania, in Burnie, and we had to go out for dinner and the only place that was open was KFC. I lashed out, I think I got 12 nuggets for her.”
In 2015, the news parody website The Betoota Advocate published a satirical article about the couple going on a date to KFC.
Ms Lambie and Mr Xenophon were both caught up in last year’s citizenship crisis, with the Tasmanian forced out of Parliament for holding UK citizenship.
Mr Xenophon was cleared by the High Court, but quit the Senate anyway for a tilt at the South Australian Parliament.
The Jacqui Lambie Network had a poor showing at the Tasmanian state election at the weekend, failing to win a seat.
Ms Lambie, who plans to run for the Senate at the federal election, said the party lacked the campaign cash to compete with the major parties.
She also revealed that losing her job in the Senate had cost her financially.
“It’s going to be 16 months before the next [federal] election. I’ve got about two months’ worth of money in my account to pay my house loans like everybody else,” she said.
“I don’t even have a car at the moment. I’ve got a borrowed one from a girlfriend.
“I’ve already been out of work now for three and a half months.”