Lidia Thorpe to face censure motion amid calls to resign from Senate over bikie relationship
Greens senator Lidia Thorpe is facing a censure motion in the upper house, and an internal review, after she failed to disclose a relationship with a former bikie boss.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said she will move the censure motion when the Senate sits next week, labelling Senator Thorpe as unfit to serve in parliament.
It was revealed on Thursday the Victorian senator didn’t disclose a relationship with Dean Martin, the ex-president of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang, while she was sitting on a powerful parliamentary committee.
Committee chair Helen Polley said a review was taking place to examine whether Senator Thorpe had been briefed on sensitive information about bikie gangs during the course of her relationship.
“There’s been a breach of trust, and we want to check the facts,” the Labor senator said.
“She has shown such poor judgment, declaring a conflict of interest is Senate 101 … this feeds into the discourse that politicians are in it for themselves as the Albanese government is trying to restore that public faith in the integrity of politics.”
Senator Polley said the committee will be advised of any breach next Tuesday, and members will be reminded of their duty to keep confidences.
“With Senator Thorpe’s contempt for the Senate with the swearing-in ceremony and now the breach of trust in failing to advise of a conflict of interest, she should consider if it’s the right place for her,” she said.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the Greens needed to change their procedures after it emerged the conflict had been disclosed to his office.
“It is appropriate that Mr Bandt respond with a full explanation of exactly the circumstances here,” he told reporters in Perth.
Senator Hanson said the failure to disclose the relationship was a conflict of interest.
“The Greens demand integrity and principle from everyone except themselves,” she said in a statement.
“If Senator Thorpe had principles she would resign from the Senate. If Greens leader Adam Bandt had integrity he would kick her out of his party.”
The One Nation leader said she was exploring other sanctions or measures that parliament could take against Senator Thorpe in the wake of the revelations.
The revelations cost Senator Thorpe the job of deputy leader in the Senate.
Mr Bandt said the lack of disclosure about the relationship represented a lack of judgment from his colleague.
Senator Thorpe said she had accepted the mistakes she had made.
“I … have not exercised good judgment,” she said in a statement.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said the Greens senator was unfit to sit in the parliament.
“Clearly she should resign, I think (Greens leader) Adam Bandt should do that.
You can’t receive briefings in the day and hang out in nice circumstances with the bikies. It doesn’t add up,” he told the Nine Network.
“It should be the first order of business for any corruption commission to look into that and probe into what might be leaked.”