Former senator Jacqui Lambie has expelled new senator-elect Steve Martin from her party for denying her the opportunity to return to Parliament.
In a statement, Ms Lambie congratulated Mr Martin on his new position but said he was no longer welcome to serve the party as she believed he was not interested in “following the parties values”.
“The Jacqui Lambie Network prides itself on mateship, respect and integrity,” she said in a letter to Mr Martin.
“I do not believe that your actions have been in keeping with these values, which I and the other JLN members hold dear.
“I don’t feel you’ve been honest or upfront with me since my resignation.
“I have tried speaking to you, and you have informed me that you will not be available for at least a couple of weeks.
“I think we need to face facts, the relationship between yourself, the party and myself has completely broken down.”
Ms Lambie chastised Mr Martin for not seeking permission to speak to the media about his ascension to the Senate.
She said she believed his actions had smeared the chances of her candidates running for a seat in the upcoming state election.
Ms Lambie had wanted her number-two candidate to step aside and create a casual vacancy for her return, telling media on the weekend that it would be a show of loyalty and “personal morality”.
Party spokesman Glynn Williams said Mr Martin was asked to step aside as the Tasmanian voters had elected Ms Lambie.
“Instead, he has decided to take that prize, that opportunity, for himself,” Williams said.
“If that’s all the thanks she gets, it makes me sick.”
Mr Martin disagreed that he was being disloyal.
“I was approached by Jacqui to run for the JLN as a number-two candidate,” he said.
“Jacqui resigned from the Senate, which was her own decision, and that created a vacancy.
“She was aware that I was going along this course … and that I was going to take the seat as a JLN senator.
“I’m now interested in getting on with the job, representing Tasmania, and working towards the best interests of Tasmanians.”
Jacqui Lambie’s former senior adviser Rob Messenger was one of the first people to take to social media to congratulate Mr Martin.
“Steve Martin is a gentileman [sic] and a statesman in the mould of great independents like Brian Harradine,” he tweeted.
There will be a final High Court hearing on Friday at 9.30am, which will officially give Mr Martin the green light to take the seat.