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Hanson's key adviser booted after Parliamentary punch-up


UPDATED | Pauline Hanson’s chief-of-staff James Ashby has been banned from parliament after an ugly physical fight with United Australia Party senator Brian Burston.

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Senate President Scott Ryan said he made the decision after reviewing footage of the clash between the two men outside a dinner at Parliament House on Wednesday night.

“I have exercised my authority to revoke Mr James Ashby of his pass to access the building and prohibit him from entering the building for the time being,” Ryan told parliament.

The upper house’s presiding officer said the video showed a passholder – Ashby – behaving inappropriately towards a senator.

Burston admitted smearing blood on the door of Hanson’s office after the clash, which happened after a function at which the two men were seated on the same table.

“Whilst I do not recall the incident of blood on the door I now have come to the conclusion that it was myself and I apologise for the action,” the One Nation defector told senators.

Ashby’s suspension from parliament is the latest escalation in a bitter feud between Hanson and her former ally.

Tensions erupted after Hanson on Tuesday night used parliamentary privilege to accuse an unnamed senator of sexually harassing at least six staff.

Burston outed himself as the mystery alleged culprit, telling News Corp it was “bullshit”, going on to claim he left One Nation after being sexually harassed by Hanson.

The One Nation leader has laughed off the allegations, saying she’s “not that desperate”.

Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi congratulated the Senate president on taking swift action against Hanson’s senior staffer.

“It concerns me because unfortunately Mr Ashby has a track record in this place. I hope that time being is a very long time,” Senator Bernardi said.


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