Parliamentary punch-up sees Hanson staffer banned

If nothing else can be said about the minor parties, they at least keep politics entertaining. From One Nation leader Pauline Hanson wearing a burqa in the Senate, to Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm advising the Greens? Sarah Hanson-Young to ?fuck off? in the chamber, the minors keep bringing the comedy gold to parliament.

But if politics is show business for ugly people, then former One Nation-turned-Clive Palmer?s United Australia Party senator Brian Burston just catapulted himself to the superstar stratosphere. In a first-time event for Australia?s parliament house, Burston went full biffo with One Nation chief of staff James Ashby. Blood was literally spilt. Quote:

A grubby war between United Australia Party senator Brian Burston and Pauline Hanson?s controversial chief of staff James Ashby has culminated in him being banned from Parliament House indefinitely, as the parties trade barbs over sexual harassment allegations. End of quote.

It gets better. Quote:

Senator Burston, a former One Nation senator, also confessed to the extraordinary action of smearing blood on Senator Hanson?s ?office door after he was involved in a scuffle with Mr Ashby on Wednesday night outside the Great Hall?

A witness to the tussle, which could be the first fight between two pass-holders in the building?s history, said Mr Ashby provoked Senator Burston as he was leaving a Minerals Council of Australia dinner and tensions became heated when the staffer turned his camera on the parliamentarian?s wife. Senator Burston allegedly threw Mr Ashby?s phone away and also pushed him. End of quote.

Caption: Burston couldn’t pass over leaving blood on Hanson’s door.

Behind all this is a long-running feud: Burston is a former One Nation senator who defected to self-promoting bargearse Clive Palmer?s vanity party. There are also simmering tensions over allegations and counter-allegations of sexual harassment involving Burston. Quote:

One Nation and Clive Palmer?s UAP will go head to head ??in ?several seats at the federal election, with Mr Palmer vowing to preference Senator Hanson?s party last.

But the bitter feud between Senator Burston and Mr Ashby goes back until at least midway through last year. Senator Burston accused Mr Ashby of harassing and threatening him for some time and claimed he had instigated the fight for political purposes?

Senator Hanson said Senator Burston needed anger management as she laughed off his alle?gations she had sexually harassed him during their 20-year working relationship, including at One ?Nation?s inaugural AGM at Rooty Hill RSL??(Senator Burston) needs to get some anger management. There?s problems in his office. It?s a real shame, I don?t like to see this.?

The One Nation leader used parliamentary privilege on Tuesday to express disappointment over an unnamed married senator?s ?horrible treatment of staff? and alleged sexual harassment towards a former female employee.

Senator Burston believed Senator Hanson was referring to him?One of Senator Burston?s former employees told The Australian they were aware of at least three staff members who had filed unfair dismissal claims against him and received payouts from the ?commonwealth. End of quote.

theaustralian
Caption: Senator Burston shows his battle scars in the chamber.

Australian politicians have a reputation for playing the game hard and dirty, but this stoush ups the ante, big-time. That Speaker?s mace might end up not being so ceremonial after all.

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