Pauline Hanson is “unrecognisable” after being bitten on the face by a tick, as she fights claims her party sought to water down Australia’s gun laws for foreign donations.
One Nation officials made the claim while seeking to explain Senator Hanson’s failure to front the cameras over shock revelations her key lieutenants sought a $20 million donation from US pro-gun lobbyists.
Senator Hanson was allegedly bitten on the face last Thursday and remains under medical care for the tick bite, a One Nation source said.
Tick bites can cause neurological symptoms including facial paralysis.
“She’s waiting until the final episode airs and her face goes down,” the source claimed.
“She has been bitten by a tick on the right cheek, which has flared up, making her almost unrecognisable.”
Senator Hanson took to Twitter on Wednesday to make her first public comments on the scandal engulfing her party. She said she was shocked at the Al Jazeera “hit piece”, and it had been referred to ASIO.
“After the full hit piece has been released, I’ll make a full statement and take all appropriate action,” she said.
I was shocked & disgusted with the Al Jazeera hit piece. A Qatari government organisation should not be targeting Australian political parties. This has been referred to ASIO. After the full hit piece has been released I’ll make a full statement & take all appropriate action. -PH
— Pauline Hanson 🇦🇺 (@PaulineHansonOz) March 27, 2019
While health experts say most tick bites are “painless and cause only minor signs and symptoms”, some ticks transmit bacteria that cause illnesses, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
The ABC will air the second episode of Al Jazeera’s How to Sell a Massacre on Thursday night. It includes covert surveillance of Senator Hanson discussing a visit by her chief of staff James Ashby and Queensland leader Steve Dickson to talk with pro-gun lobbyists.
Mr Ashby and Mr Dickson did not explain the reason for their boss’s absence during a press conference on Tuesday, but did reveal “she’s quite ill”.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has again refused to guarantee the Liberals will put One Nation last on how-to-vote cards, instead urging its supporters to vote for the Coalition.
“They should vote for the Liberal Party. I’m in the business of attracting the primary votes of Australians,” he said.
“What I’ve been saying to One Nation voters – and I want to be very clear here – when I make comments about One Nation, I’m not making comments about One Nation voters. They’re two very different things.”
Mr Morrison said he was not impressed by the excuses offered by Mr Ashby and Mr Dickson that they were “on the sauce” when they discussed a $20 million donation and were not seriously proposing the scheme.
“Frankly, being drunk is no excuse for trading away Australia’s gun laws to foreign bidders,” Mr Morrison said.