Queensland senator Pauline Hanson will abstain from voting to censure her former One Nation party colleague Fraser Anning because, she says, it won’t “prove a damn thing”.
In a fiery face-off on morning television with fellow crossbencher Derryn Hinch, party leader Senator Hanson downplayed her past connection to Senator Anning, who now sits as an independent.
“For you to say that is absolutely disgusting,” she told Seven’s Sunrise on Monday when asked if she had picked Senator Anning to run for One Nation because of his white supremacist views.
“No, I didn’t pick him because of that.”
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) March 17, 2019
Senator Anning entered parliament in late 2017 as a replacement for One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts, who was disqualified from sitting in the upper house because due to his dual citizenship.
Senator Hanson kicked him out of the party on his first day when he refused to step aside and allow Mr Roberts to return.
After sitting as an independent in a loose alliance with other right-wing crossbenchers, Senator Anning joined Katter’s Australian Party before he was booted out after a few months for racist comments.
Senator Anning has been branded a “disgrace” by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australian leaders for blaming last Friday’s Christchurch mosque massacre on Muslim immigration.
When Parliament resumes next month, the Coalition and Labor plan to jointly move a censure motion condemning his comments.
But Senator Hanson doesn’t see the point of a censure motion.
“A censure isn’t going to prove, it’s not going to do anything … what is a censure? It will not prove a damn thing,” she said on Monday.
“The people will have their say, not politicians out there beating their chest about all of this.”
In the same Sunrise interview, Senator Hanson also clashed with host David Koch, who accused her of “empowering” white supremacists through One Nation policies.
“I feel for those people and I feel for those families who have lost lives,” Senator Hanson said.
‘We have problems but you’ve actually got to discuss it and debate the issue. Why we have these terrorist attacks in this country. Why is it happening around the world? Why is it happening in many places?”