Jacqui Lambie has kicked the man ruled eligible to replace her vacant Senate seat out of the Jacqui Lambie Network, on the grounds that he totally dogged her spot.
Yesterday, the High Court ruled that Steve Martin‘s existing role as mayor of Davenport would not violate Section 44 of the constitution, allowing him to fill the vacancy created by Lambie after she herself was ruled ineligible under Section 44 due to her holding British dual citizenship.
While I imagine Martin was pretty stoked that he would soon be a senator, Lambie was less than impressed, apparently under the belief that Martin would cede his seat to allow Lambie to fill the vacancy, returning as a senator. This afternoon, Lambie published a letter she sent to him this evening informing him that his conduct was not in line with the party’s values:
I congratulate you on your recent win in the High Court. It sets a new legal precedent allowing local government representatives to run for federal office. The Jacqui Lambie Network prides itself on mateship, respect and integrity. I do not believe that your actions have been in keeping with these values, which I and the other JLN members hold dear. I don’t feel you’ve been honest or upfront with me since my resignation.
You gave me your commitment to retain our staff, who have given their all to the JLN and who have the necessary experience to ease your transition to Canberra. Today you announced they are all to be terminated. This, coupled with your lack of commitment to the Network since the last election shows us that you are not interested in following our values.
I have tried speaking to you, and you have informed me that you will not be available for at least a couple of weeks. I think we need to face facts, the relationship between yourself, the party and myself has completely broken down.
During the course of today, the 7th of February, you made public statements to the media, purporting to be from the party. This was done without getting the authority of the convenor to make any such statements. Therefore, it is my duty to inform you, that the management committee of the Jacqui Lambie Network has moved to expel you from the party.
According to the ABC, Martin was not aware that he had been kicked out of the party until the ABC called him to get comment on the story, with the reporter having to read Lambie’s press release to him over the phone. Martin declined to give the ABC an interview.
Martin told the Australian that Lambie was fully aware he would be taking the seat:
It was always my intention to take the seat and it was clear to Jacqui from day one. Jacqui resigned from the Senate and then was disqualified. That’s when the pathway commenced and I’ve continued with it.
I sent her a text advising her the High Court unanimously decided I was eligible. I received a text back about an hour later [saying] ‘good on you, congratulations, give me a call’.
When asked if he did indeed call her back, Martin responded that he’d “been busy“.