CANBERRA – It's appeared inevitable for months, but Pauline Hanson's One Nation party has officially fractured less than six months after bursting back on the federal political sphere.
Rogue West Australian senator Rod Culleton has finally resigned from One Nation with Hanson calling him, "a pain in my backside", adding on Channel Seven on Monday: "I am glad to see the back of him".
Q: Are you glad to see the back of him (Rod Culleton)?
PH: Too right I am pic.twitter.com/fHHWXy2NuB
— Charles Croucher (@ccroucher9) December 18, 2016
After falling out publicly with Hanson, who said his time in politics had "gone to his head," Culleton has announced his intention to sit on the senate crossbench as an independent, citing "un-Australian behaviour" within the party, a lack of support and poor consultation.
In a lengthy statement, Senator Culleton insisted he had remained committed to his policies and pre-election promises, but he said his One Nation colleagues have not. He cites the Kidman Station sale and the backpacker tax legislation as areas of difference.
"Policy decisions have been run in morning media, with no consultation, discussion or agreement from the party room," he said in a statement.
Culleton -- who is awaiting a High Court verdict on the validity of his election -- has also spelled out an irreparable breakdown in One Nation relations.
"Personal attacks and undermining, unAustralian behaviour towards myself and my team, has been ongoing and terms dictated to my team," he said in a statement.
"I can no longer tolerate the lack of party support for my positive initiatives, including the recent abandonment of PHON's pre-election commitment to a Banking Royal Commission."
— Senator Rod Culleton (@SenatorCulleton) December 18, 2016
Hanson is moving on, but not before criticising him again publicly as "not a team player" who was always late for meetings.
"Rod Culleton was a pain in my backside. I am glad to see the back of him," Hanson told Sunrise.
Culleton has also continued the public fight with the One Nation leadership.
"The PHON leader's public rants against me have also been accompanied by demands for my resignation and control over diaries, office management and staffing by Senator Hanson and her Chief of Staff James Ashby," Culleton said.
"The irrational dictates have cause only disunity and distrust."
Culleton's break from One Nation comes after Hanson revealed the two politicians could no longer have a civil conversation and a day after One Nation announced 36 candidates for the next Queensland state election.
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