Australia: Western Australian MP Charles Smith quits One Nation over 'frustrations' - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaWestern Australian MP Charles Smith quits One Nation over 'frustrations'

22:55  11 june  2019
22:55  11 june  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Pauline Hanson's One Nation party has been hit by another MP defection, with one of its three West Australian parliamentarians quitting to sit as an independent.

Western Australian MP Charles Smith quits One Nation over 'frustrations'© ABC News: Jacob Kagi Charles Smith, pictured far right, along with One Nation's Robin Scott, Colin Tincknell and Rick Mazza from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party. The Upper House of WA's parliament was told on Tuesday night that first-term East Metropolitan MP Charles Smith would quit the party amid what he said was his "frustration" with One Nation.

He made a brief statement in parliament: "Today is the end of a long line of frustrations for me and, Madam President, I advise the house that I have resigned from One Nation and I stand as an independent member".

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He's the fourth of six One Nation members ever elected to WA Parliament to quit the party, with all three of those elected in 2001 defecting before their terms expired in 2005.

In federal parliament, the party has also had elected members Brian Burston, Fraser Anning and Rod Culleton all leave the party after having been elected through One Nation in recent years.

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Relations between Mr Smith and the party's WA leader Colin Tincknell are understood to have been strained for some time, leading up to the MP's decision to quit.

Mr Smith was elected with Mr Tincknell and Robin Scott amid a surge in One Nation support at the 2017 state election.

That gave the party a powerful crossbench position in WA's Legislative Council, holding three of the 36 spots in the chamber.

Mr Smith's resignation will dilute that influence significantly.

The Government needs the support of the Greens and at least one other member to get legislation through the Upper House.

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