In case you were wondering whether it was physically possible for One Nation to be any more shambolic, the answer is a resounding yes. According to a statement issued via Pauline Hanson‘s Facebook page, their new senator Fraser Anning quit the party instantly after being sworn into Parliament.
#BREAKING Pauline Hanson says new Senator Fraser Anning has defected from One Nation to stand as an independent.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) November 13, 2017
Yes, you read that correctly. Anning, who received a whopping 19 first preference votes at the 2015 election, was tapped to replace Malcolm Roberts after he was booted from elected office by writ of the High Court.
The defection was announced in a somewhat rambling Facebook note, in which Hanson says that the party believes Anning was encouraged to defect to the Australian Conservatives by former staffers for Malcolm Roberts, which is kinda wild. Hanson alleges that she had encouraged Anning to resign so that Roberts could be returned to his seat:
Prior to the High Court’s decision, I had attempted to speak with Mr Anning while he was overseas, but those efforts fell on deaf ears. I was forced to communicate through Fraser’s brother while I was travelling through North Queensland in September.
I indicated to Harry Anning at the time, that given the work Malcolm Roberts had achieved as Chair of the banking inquiry and his role in challenging climate change, it would be in the Federal Party’s and Australia’s best interest for Malcolm Roberts to be returned to the Senate.
I was disappointed Mr Anning made no attempt to contact me or any One Nation executive member off the back of multiple requests to discuss his future plans. Instead he chose to release scathing media releases demanding I pledge my support to him without even meeting or speaking to him.
Obviously, it didn’t exactly transpire that way. This is one of the most hilariously dog acts of all time. The full statement is below.
Earlier, Anning was seen walking into Parliament flanked by David Leyonhjelm and Cory Bernardi. You know, if you need any proof that the man just pulled off one of the great acts of dog artistry, just look at those shiteating grins:
— ABC Politics (@politicsabc) November 13, 2017