Friday, June 1, 2018
One Nation senator refusing to quit seat AAP Saturday, 2 June 2018 8:56AM Senator Brian Burston has refused to quit the One Nation party despite Pauline Hanson's demands. Senator Brian Burston has refused to quit the One Nation party despite Pauline Hanson's demands. One Nation's Brian Burston is refusing to quit his Senate seat, undercutting Pauline Hanson's power base unless she can force him out. Senator Hanson sent her long-time supporter a letter on Friday demanding he resign from the Senate to allow her to pick a replacement. "I no longer have confidence in in you as an officer of Pauline Hanson's One Nation party," Senator Hanson's letter said. "You describe yourself as loyal to me and now I ask that you demonstrate that loyalty to me by giving up your seat in the Senate to enable the party to appoint a replacement NSW senator." But Senator Burston is refusing to go, which means Senator Hanson's crucial three-vote bloc in the upper house is cut to two, vastly undercutting her influence. "I will not be resigning from One Nation and I most certainly will not ever be resigning from my senate position," Senator Burston told 2GB radio on Friday. "I certainly will not be standing aside for Pauline to put in a crony that's a yes-man or woman." He has also launched legal action against Senator Hanson's chief of staff James Ashby for allegedly leaking the "damaging revelation" that he was having a rectal examination when the party discussed its company tax stance. Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm confirmed he had talked to Senator Burston after Friday's fracas. "He's determined not to resign... But he will be voting independently from One Nation," Senator Leyonhjelm told AAP. The crisis started when Senator Burston publicly revealed his plans to vote for the government's company tax cuts, after Senator Hanson reneged on a deal to back them. An intermediary also spent two weeks trying to set up a meeting with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party in NSW so Senator Burston could defect. The party didn't want him - but Senator Burston claims he wasn't aware of the approach. Queensland Liberal senator Amanda Stoker said it was to Senator Burston's credit that he wasn't "flip-flopping according to the whims and needs" of One Nation's electoral prospects. But Senator Hanson needed to re-evaluate her management style, she said. "There comes a point where you say, 'after 20 or so people have come and gone from my party room, maybe it's me,'" Senator Stoker told the ABC. 21 people have either quit parliament, the party, been disqualified or expelled from One Nation while in parliament.