The head of the Palmer United Party, Clive Palmer, says the parliamentary party has demoted Senator Jacqui Lambie for failing to attend party meetings.
The move could be seen as Palmer’s way of beating Lambie to the punch after rumours circulated Canberra yesterday that she would quit the party after weeks of internal turmoil in PUP.
Overnight Lambie dropped the Palmer United Party logo and name from her website.
Speculation about Lambie’s split from the party has been mounting after she broke rank to vote against the Federal Government’s revised social services bill.
Lambie opposed the legislation due to the effect on Tasmanian families and in line with her threat to oppose all Government bills to protest over the pay deal for Defence personnel.
“I won’t support this cruel legislation,” Senator Lambie told the ABC.
The Tasmania senator was the party’s deputy leader in the Senate before her demotion.
In a press conference on Sky News this morning the Senator remained tight-lipped about her situation in the party, but when asked about her vote on social services bill she said: “I have to do what’s right by my Tasmanians… I have to do what’s right by my conscience.”
In statement to the press Palmer has confirmed that the party as voted to remove Lambie from her party positions of Deputy Leader of the Senate and Deputy Whip, effective immediately.
Palmer said Senator Lambie has also been suspended from attending any parliamentary meetings of the party.
“Jacqui Lambie has failed to attend the last three parliamentary party meetings,” he said.
“This will be enforced until such time she gives an undertaking to cease personal attacks on party member and to follow major decision of the party room.
“At no time has Jacqui Lambie ever brought a resolution to the party meeting in relation to Tasmania or veterans.”