ONE Nation leader Pauline Hanson fought back tears on live television after one of her Upper House colleagues abandoned her.
The controversial politician was being interviewed on Sky News about Senator Brian Burston's decision to back the Coalition Government's company tax cuts and what appears to be his split from the party she founded and brought back to Federal Parliament in 2016.
She said he had "stabbed me in the back" - something she claimed had happened before.
"For him to turn around and do this to me...it's hard. But I'm going to keep going and get good people in that parliament beside me, because it means so much to me to help the people that need help."
She said Australians were "sick of politicians because they don't do anything" and defended her record.
"I've been able to achieve so much in a short period of time - and I'm not finished. You think I'm going to let Brian Burston or anyone else finish me, they will not just sit on the [Senate] seats and do absolutely nothing and think they can have a cosy ride and collect taxpayers funds and not work for it."
She insisted she had the support of the party.
"I'm sorry to the Australian people that this is happening again....But I tell you what, at the end of the day, I will win and I'm going to ensure I have people there beside me, strong and united, working for the people of this country."
.@PaulineHansonOz has broken down on #theboltreport— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) 31 May 2018
‘For Brian Burston to turn around and do this to me, it is hard. I am not finished, and if you think Brian Burston or anyone else will finish me, they will not. At the end of the day I will win.’
Mr Burston disputed Ms Hanson's account, and claimed she had been refusing to speak to him after he was dumped as the One Nation party whip last week, reported The Daily Telegraph.
"It was a little bit of a payback, it was a little bit of a punishment for not supporting her position in terms of those tax cuts," Mr Burston said.
He denied media reports he had requested a meeting with The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party and said he was not going to leave One Nation, Sky News reported.
The divisions in the party over whether to support company tax cuts became clearer throughout Thursday.
Senator Hanson accused Senator Burston of selling himself out to the Government supporting their $35.6 billion corporate tax cut plan, in a direct challenge to her authority.
The NSW senator said he was blindsided when Senator Hanson withdrew support for the cuts after initially agreeing to back them.
He plans to honour the deal struck in March with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.
"I don't want to cause any angst or division in One Nation, but once I make a handshake with somebody, that's it. I stick to my word," Senator Burston told The Australian newspaper on Thursday.
Sen. Brian Burston says the "claim that I've approached the Shooters party is totally and absolutely false" and he has no intention of going anywhere.— Caroline Marcus (@carolinemarcus) 31 May 2018
But Senator Hanson said she spoke to Senator Burston last Monday before the party's change of mind was announced, and he agreed to withdraw support for the cuts.
She said it appeared Senator Burston changed his mind in return for money to deal with PFAS contamination on properties near air force bases.
"He feels that he did a deal with Minister Cormann, and he's sold himself out for $55 million in PFAS," Senator Hanson told reporters on Thursday. "(But) he is a member of the party and he is still a representative of One Nation."
The May Budget included an amount of $73.1 million to deal with the Defence site PFAS chemical contamination issue.
Senator Hanson said the preselection process for the next election is not yet finalised, which puts a cloud over Senator Burston's position at the top of the One Nation Senate ticket for NSW.
"He's said he's not doing a dummy spit, he said he's not walking away from One Nation," she said.
Senator Cormann insisted the Government remained committed to the deal it struck with One Nation.
"The Government is very appreciative of the fact that Senator Burston has announced that he will stick to the agreement that was reached," the minister told reporters.
The Government has 31 senators and needs 39 votes to pass its legislation, if Labor doesn't decide to back it.
Mr Shorten said Labor would oppose the company tax cuts all the way to the next election.
"I notice that yet again Pauline Hanson's One Nation appears to be split and chaotic," Mr Shorten told reporters.
"The reality is that if you vote One Nation you're voting for corporate tax cuts."
Senator Burston has removed reference to One Nation on his social media accounts.
- with AAP