George Christensen has resigned from his position as the National Party’s chief whip. He explains that he cannot be both outspoken and holder of the role.
“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,” said the Queensland MP for Dawson in a statement. “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.”
Moreover, he said that Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has been very supportive of his decision to retire. Christensen added that Joyce was with him whatever decision he makes. The resignation will be effective on March 2.
Apparently, Christensen was on the verge of quitting due to issues in the sugar industry. However, he later said that he would still remain with the National Party, reports news.com.au.
In the past weeks, it has been speculated that Christensen would join South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi. Bernardi also quit from the Liberals to form his own Australian Conservatives party.
Others have also commented that Christensen’s behavior is in conflict with his position. Other reports also state that he has threatened to resign twice before to get support for local sugar growers.
In December, the National Party’s chief whip also posted online that he was not glad with the Coalition’s direction. He also stated that it is very likely that remaining with them would no longer be bearable.
“I’ve been outspoken on a variety of topics over the last probably several months,” he told the ABC. “I just believe that the situation has probably become untenable — as the person that’s supposed to be a standard bearer of discipline within the party to be out there talking against some of the Government policies as strenuously as I have been.”
He said that it would be possible that more people would support him if he joins One Nation, which had reached 30 percent in the central Queensland electorate. Nevertheless, he knows that supporters in his electorate would want to see more jobs being created.
“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,” said George. He also criticized environmentalists for trying to delay this plan.