Outspoken senator Jacqui Lambie has quit the Palmer United Party and will sit as an independent in the Senate.
Lambie announced her resignation in the Senate on Monday, saying her issues with PUP leader Clive Palmer had caused uncertainty for the Tasmanian people.
“My resignation today will end that damaging speculation and uncertainty,” she told parliament.
“I must be free to vote in the Senate in the best interest of Tasmanians.”
Lambie had been thinking over her party membership while she got legal advice on leaving PUP.
Her resignation leaves the party with two senators in the upper house.
Her statement follows a war of words with Palmer, who on Monday accused his former Tasmanian colleague of infiltrating the PUP on behalf of the major parties.
But Lambie said she had neither the time or energy to be drawn into “a political mudslinging contest”.
“I will not be drawn into the game of responding to hurtful and false personal attacks,” she said.
Lambie said the PUP leader had been graced with great wealth and power and had an opportunity to do good for many Australians.
She offered an olive branch to Palmer.
“After these political matters settle there will be many opportunities for us to work together in the national interest,” she said.
“I wish Clive and his beautiful family, staff and friends all the very best.”
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