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Australian police probe parliament brawl involving 70 year-old senator who left blood on rival's door

Senator Brian Burston admitted to smearing blood on Senator Pauline Hanson’s door following a brawl with one of her aides.

United Australia Party Senator Brian Burston with a bandaged hand in the Senate chamber in Canberra
United Australia Party Senator Brian Burston with a bandaged hand in the Senate chamber in Canberra
Image: AAP/PA Images

AUSTRALIAN POLICE ARE investigating a brawl between a senator and a top aide that left blood on the walls of the country’s parliament.

Police and parliamentary authorities are looking into an altercation between 70-year-old Senator Brian Burston and a staffer for populist Senator Pauline Hanson on Tuesday.

Burston showed off a cut on his thumb following the altercation and, following an initial denial, admitted to smearing his blood on Hanson’s parliamentary office door.

In a statement, Burston said he “reported the full matter to the Australian Federal Police” and was asking for a restraining order against the aide. 

“This matter is now in the hands of the police,” he added.

Aide James Ashby – who had been instrumental in Hanson gaining outsized influence in Australian politics – has been banned from parliament.

The confrontation, which was caught on camera, took place as Burston accused Hanson of years of unwanted sexual advances and Hanson accused an unnamed senator – believed to be Burston – of sexual misconduct.

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Hanson, leader of the One Nation party, made light of the harassment allegations by saying she was 64 years-old but “not that desperate”.

The pair split politically last year and have feuded since.

Amid the most recent spat, The Guardian reported that a female aide once accused Burston of offering sex to cheer her up. He denied the allegations.

- © AFP 2019

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