I was not pushed: Christensen resigns as chief whip

DAWSON MP George Christensen has resigned as Nationals Chief Whip.

His last day in the position will be on Thursday.

Mr Christensen has for a long time been threatening the government he would cross the floor on several issues.

There has been constant speculation he would leave the Coalition for One Nation or Cory Bernardi's Australian Conservative Party.

However, he has denied that on numerous occasions to the Daily Mercury.

Mr Christensen's statement on his resignation in full:

"I have resigned as Chief Whip of the Nationals, effective 5pm this Thursday, March 2.

"I made the decision to resign because my continued outspokenness on a variety of issues was obviously incompatible with the position of Party Whip in the long term.

"It was my decision to resign; and my decision alone.

"I was not pushed by anyone.

"However I did feel some of my colleagues may have been aggrieved that the enforcer of discipline was being somewhat ill-disciplined himself.

"Over the past week as I've reached this decision, Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has been incredibly supportive, and said he would have supported whatever decision I made on the matter.

"I thank him and the rest of the Nationals team for the great honour of serving as their Chief Whip over the last six months."

 

Earlier this month it was revealed the controversial federal government MP came close to quitting the Turnbull Government, penning a "letter of demand" about threats to the sugar industry, which he ultimately did not send.

Mr Christensen later affirmed his loyalty to the National Party after peace talks with leader Barnaby Joyce.

"I'm loyal to Barnaby Joyce, I'm loyal to the National Party, loyal to the LNP," Mr Christensen told the Nine Network after Mr Joyce travelled to Mr Christensen's north Queensland electorate on February 19.

"I said that I am a member of the National Party and I want to remain a member of the National Party," Mr Christensen added.

Mr Joyce travelled north to persuade Mr Christensen not to leave the party and to ease tensions over a dispute which could see jobs lost in the sugar cane industry.

Mr Christensen is under pressure in his electorate of Dawson from Pauline Hanson's party.

An opinion poll released on Monday found primary vote support for One Nation had reached 30 per cent in the central Queensland electorate, putting it neck and neck with the Liberal National Party at 30.4 per cent.

  Mr Christensen said voters in his electorate wanted to see tangible results from Canberra in terms of jobs creation.

"There are a number of dams that we've got that are under planning stage, they'll have to be started before the next election," the LNP backbencher told Sky News on Monday night.

He hit out at planning delays and environmentalists trying to protect "bottom breathing turtles" saying last time he checked the creatures could swim. He acknowledged that it was "possible" he would be able to shore up his support base by joining One Nation.

"Possible. But no, I'm in the National Party," he said.

Mr Christensen said today he would cross the floor of parliament to vote for a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the banking sector.

"I just think we need to go forward, and to vote for a bill that the government might not support doesn't mean that I'm against the government," Mr Christensen told ABC radio on Tuesday.



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