Senate President Scott Ryan has stripped Pauline Hanson’s chief-of-staff James Ashby of his parliamentary pass after he was involved in a physical fight with United Australia Party senator Brian Burston.
Senator 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,” Senator Ryan said.
Mr Ashby filmed Senator Burston in the lead-up to the altercation, which left the One Nation defector with a bandaged hand when he arrived at work on Thursday.
Senator Burston told News Corp Australia Mr Ashby ran up to him as he and his wife were leaving a dinner function and Mr Ashby put a phone close to his face.
Images appear to show Senator Hanson’s office door smeared with streaks of blood.
“”I told him to f*** off,” Senator Burston told News Corp, adding that he tried unsuccessfully to grab the phone.
Senator Burston said Mr Ashby pursued him and his wife.
“I lost it,” the senator said.
“I grabbed him and I pushed him up against the wall.”
Senator Burston said he had reported the incident to Australian Federal Police.
The stoush erupted after Senator Hanson on Tuesday night used parliamentary privilege to accuse an unnamed senator of sexually harassing at least six staff.
Senator 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 Senator Hanson.
The One Nation leader has laughed off the allegations, saying she’s “not that desperate”.