Nats boss backs MP after trips abroad end

Nats boss backs MP after trips abroad end


Politics
Nationals leader backs QLD MP George Christensen amid row over his time away from job and electorate

Nationals leader backs QLD MP George Christensen amid row over his time away from job and electorate

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Nationals leader Michael McCormack has thrown his support behind embattled Queensland MP George Christensen despite ongoing revelations about numerous trips t...

Aa

Nationals leader Michael McCormack has thrown his support behind embattled Queensland MP George Christensen despite ongoing revelations about numerous trips to the Philippines.

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday reported Mr Christensen missed a third of hearings held by a 2014 parliamentary inquiry into development in northern Australia because he was abroad.

The Mackay-based MP has been under sustained pressure over spending 300 days over four years overseas instead of in his electorate.

Mr McCormack, who has led the party since February last year, said Mr Christensen had put a stop to the travel since a discussion in July.

"When I became the deputy prime minister and became aware that he had spent some time away from his electorate, we had a conversation," Mr McCormack told reporters in northern Tasmania on Thursday.

"He's certainly been concentrating on his electorate since."

Mr McCormack defended Mr Christensen after the outspoken Queenslander referred $3000 of taxpayer-funded connecting flights to the Philippines to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority

"I've got every faith in George Christensen's ability to deliver," he said.

The MP is "absolutely confident" his travel was within the rules.

Mr Christensen's partner lives in the Philippines and he has not disputed the amount of time he has spent in the country.

The MP holds Dawson with a notional margin of 3.4 per cent.

He was the sole challenger to Mr McCormack for the Nationals leadership after Barnaby Joyce quit amid a storm of controversy about his affair with a staffer.

Australian Associated Press

The story Nats boss backs MP after trips abroad end first appeared on Farm Online.

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