BREAKING: Jacqui Lambie's chief of staff is fired, following her most controversial comments yet.

Jacqui Lambie on 7:30. (Screenshot via ABC)






In breaking news this afternoon, Senator Jacqui Lambie’s chief of staff has been expelled from the Palmer United Party (PUP), the ABC reports.

“Everything Senator Lambie says is really coming from her chief of staff,” Clive Palmer said in a statement.

“Last night our executive met and we have agreed to expel Rob Messenger from the party on the grounds of making false and misleading statements about our Senators.”

The move — which  will inflame existing tensions within the balance-of-power voting bloc– follows Lambie’s criticism of party leader Clive Palmer in interview with the ABC’s Leigh Sales.

Here’s what went down in that controversial interview on the ABC’s 7:30 last night…


Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie says the Palmer United Party will only avoid fracturing if leader Clive Palmer adopts more of her policy positions.

In a blistering interview broadcast on the 7.30 program, Senator Lambie said she was unable to endorse the performance of either Mr Palmer or her fellow PUP senators.

“One thing I won’t do is lie to the Australian people and I’m not going to sit here and make my PUP senators or Clive Palmer look good when I’m not feeling that way about them,” she said.

Clive Palmer.

“I won’t do that… I just don’t feel like they’re helping me out. So if that means I’ve got to go it alone under the PUP flag then so be it, I’ll just run it alone.”

Senator Lambie and Mr Palmer publicly clashed earlier this week over the Senator’s call for people to turn their backs on Liberal MPs during Remembrance Day ceremonies to express anger about a controversial pay deal for defence personnel.

Mr Palmer said it was inappropriate to use such functions for political protest.

Senator Lambie said there was dissatisfaction within the party about Mr Palmer’s style of leadership.

“That just doesn’t seem to be on the table to talk about,” she said.

“I think that’s a major issue and it should be talked about and it needs to be sorted.

“If the party is going to survive then they’d better come up with a bloody better plan of attack than what they’ve been using.”

Senator Lambie also said she prepared to have individual discussions with Environment Minister Greg Hunt about the Renewable Energy Target after Government negotiations with Labor failed.

Leigh Sales hosting 7:30.

“I’m absolutely prepared to go outside the square there because once again it comes down to my conscience and it comes down to Tasmania,” she said.

“The Tasmania people voted me in and I have to do what is right by the Tasmanian people when it comes to the RET and right now my opinion may not line up with Clive Palmer’s opinion.”


Palmer not sure if Lambie intends to quit party

Mr Palmer said earlier that he had not seen Senator Lambie for a couple of weeks.

Several commentators have suggested she might soon split from the party.

“Well I don’t know, I’ve had no indication of it,” he told the ABC’s PM program.

“Jacqui may have made some comments, but who knows.

“I mean, they’ve been saying that for six months, haven’t they?

“I’m not a person that’s greatly moved by the media.”

Leigh Sales speaks to Jacqui Lambie on last night’s 7:30 episode. (Screenshot via ABC)

Mr Palmer also moved to play down the influence of Senator Lambie, who has threatened to vote against all Government legislation from now on, over the Defence pay deal.

He said he did not expect Senator Lambie to follow through on her threat.

“She should be able to count though and realise the Greens have got 10 seats of the Senate… I don’t know why her one vote counts.”


This article was first published by the ABC and has been republished with full permission.


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