Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has called an alleged physical alternation between New South Wales Senator Brian Burston and Pauline Hanson's One Nation staffer James Ashby an "unedifying incident".
The Daily Telegraph reports Senator Burston says he is now seeking a restraining order after “repeated acts of harassment and aggression”.
In a statement this afternoon, the ex-One Nation senator said “Footage in circulation of an incident between Senator Burston and James Ashby does not show the entirety of what happened,” his statement said. “The full assault on Senator Burston and his wife by James Ashby has not been depicted correctly.”
It added the Senator “must be able to exercise his rights to self-defence to protect himself and his wife”.
Senator Burston also claimed that prior to last night’s “unprovoked attack” he had been “harassed and threatened” by Mr Ashby “over an extended period”.
Senator Burston said he had referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police and had begun the process to take out a restraining order against Mr Ashby over “repeated acts of harassment and aggression of which the Senator has ample evidence”.
He refused to comment further, saying the matter was “now in the hands of the police”.
The Conservative Party's Queensland Senate candidate Lyle Shelton said, "This is ugly and has no place in our Parliament House".
Senator Bernardi has referred the incident to the President of the Senate for investigation and asked for a report on the findings.
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