Pauline Hanson is facing potential sanctions over allegations she tried to punish One Nation colleague Brian Burston for refusing to vote the way she wanted.
The escalating internal war gripping the minor party comes as another former One Nation senator switches allegiances, warning Senator Hanson could be left with a party of one.
Senator Burston is launching an effort to have the One Nation leader hauled before the powerful Senate privileges committee after their spectacular falling out over company tax cuts last week.
He has written to Senator Hanson to warn it was a possible “contempt of the Senate” for her to pressure him into changing his vote on the tax bill, Fairfax Media reports.
Senator Burston, who led the One Nation ticket in NSW at the last election, has argued he struck a “handshake agreement” with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann to back the government’s legislation, and could not go back on his word.
He is also refusing to quit the party, despite Senator Hanson asking him to hand his seat “back to the party” because she’d lost confidence in him.
“I’m not going to leave,” he told Fairfax Media.
“She can sack me if she wishes, or she can apologise and retract all the garbage she’s said about me in the public arena.”
Former One Nation senator Fraser Anning, meanwhile, has joined forces with maverick Queensland MP Bob Katter in federal Parliament.
Senator Anning replaced Malcolm Roberts as a One Nation senator in November last year, after Mr Roberts was disqualified for being a dual citizen.
He publicly split from the party and its leader within hours, after Senator Hanson demanded he step aside to allow Mr Roberts to return to Parliament.
Senator Anning predicts the One Nation leader’s only remaining federal colleague, Western Australian Peter Georgiou, will eventually be ousted.
“I predicted it to Brian about an hour after I got dumped; ‘Brian and Peter and I’, I said, ‘within the next 6 to 12 months we’ll all be sitting here talking about how we got dropped’,” he told the ABC’s 7.30 program.
“[Peter Georgiou’s] the next rooster for the chopping block.”
Senator Georgiou replaced his brother-in-law, Rod Culleton, who also fell out with the One Nation leader before the High Court ruled he was ineligible to run for Parliament.
Senator Hanson has escaped the political heat for a taxpayer-funded parliamentary trip to Britain and France.