Labor recruits ex-premier, as Lambie quits

November 14, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull has been dogged by questions while overseas about the fate of his government.

Malcolm Turnbull has dismissed concerns about the "unruly" parliament as his poll numbers drop amid the citizenship crisis.

The prime minister will wrap up his overseas travels on Tuesday, attending the East Asia Summit in Manila, but has been dogged by questions about the fate of his government.

However, he is unfazed by the latest Newspoll giving Labor a 55-45 two-party preferred lead over the coalition and a dive in his preferred prime minister rating.

"Everyone looks at parliamentary events at any given time and says gosh it's unruly, and you know what, it's always been so," Mr Turnbull told reporters in Manila.

The Senate sits on Tuesday as Pauline Hanson deals with the fallout from Fraser Anning, who replaced the disqualified Malcolm Roberts, leaving the One Nation party to become an independent on the day of his swearing in.

Senator Hanson had sought over recent weeks to convince Senator Anning to stand aside and allow Mr Roberts to return.

But the final straw was the One Nation leader's decision to exclude Senator Anning's staff - who formerly worked for Mr Roberts - from a party room meeting on Monday morning.

Senator Anning said he had turned up at the meeting ready to be part of Senator Hanson's team, but being so "verbally attacked" he was obliged to walk out.

He said Senator Hanson then unilaterally kicked him out of the party, despite him having been loyal to her for 20 years.

The chamber now comprises 29 coalition senators, 26 Labor, nine Greens, three One Nation, three Nick Xenophon Team, as well as Jacqui Lambie, Lucy Gichuhi, Derryn Hinch, David Leyonhjelm, Cory Bernardi and Senator Anning.

Senator Lambie is set to quit parliament on Tuesday if the British Home Office confirms she holds UK citizenship by descent from her father who was born in Scotland.

Mr Turnbull's one-seat majority government is being tested in two by-elections - December 16 in the Liberal-held Sydney seat of Bennelong and December 2 in New England held by former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce.

In a bid to end the citizenship crisis, Labor and the coalition have agreed to a December 1 deadline for senators to publicly disclose details of their Australian citizenship or renunciation of foreign ties.

However, it is unclear whether the December 1 deadline will also apply to lower house members.

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