Home | Australia | Brian Burston says he's still a member of One Nation

Brian Burston says he's still a member of One Nation

‘She hasn’t sacked me, least not yet,’ senator says of party leader Pauline Hanson

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Brian Burston with Pauline Hanson in December



Brian Burston with Pauline Hanson in December. Burston said on Monday he was still a One Nation member.
Photograph: Mike Bowers for the Guardian

Brian Burston has said he remains a member of One Nation despite Pauline Hanson’s very public demand for her senator to not only quit the party but the Senate.

Burston discovered on live radio his leader no longer had faith in him to perform his role as a One Nation senator and had removed him as deputy leader of the New South Wales and federal chapters, while asking him to quit.

The NSW senator, who had been sacked from One Nation in 2000 during its first incarnation, said he would not voluntarily resign from the party and accused Hanson of having “a massive dummy spit” over his decision to go against her decree and vote for the government’s company tax cuts.

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On Monday Burston told Guardian Australia he still belonged to One Nation. Asked whether he had been sacked by Hanson, Burston replied in a text message: “Still a member. She hasn’t sacked me, least not yet.”

Hanson is in the UK as part of a parliamentary delegation.

Relations between Hanson and Burston began to break down in February when Hanson anointed former senator Malcolm Roberts as the party’s No 1 pick for the Queensland Senate ticket. Burston was told he would have to submit his candidacy forms like all other potential candidates.

Hanson broke down during a live television interview with Sky News on Thursday after learning that Burston had attempted to defect to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party.

Burston denied he had made the approach but admitted on Friday that a constituent had attempted to set up a meeting for him with a member of the party’s executive.

Hanson declared her relationship with Burston done on Thursday night and on Friday sent him a letter asking him to resign.

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Pauline Hanson close to tears over party troubles – video

After the letter was read out to him on Sydney radio 2GB, Burston said if Hanson wanted him gone, she would have to “cancel my membership and that will make me an independent, but that is her call”.

Losing Burston would leave Hanson with just two votes in the Senate, weakening her negotiating position with the government.

Of the 30 members elected under the One Nation brand across Australia’s parliaments, 21 have either quit or been expelled from the party, or have been forced out of the parliament.

Six of the remaining nine were elected in the past two years, while before the 2016 federal election, just three of 20 MPs served an entire term in parliament as One Nation MPs, having either quit the party, or the parliament, before the next election.

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