Coalition Senator Sam McMahon withdraws from CLP, set to sit across

Northern Territory Senator Sam McMahon has withdrawn from the Country Liberal Party, a spokesman has confirmed, ending a 30-year deal.

The CLP traditionally sits in the National Party room in Canberra, meaning the Morrison coalition government will lose a sitting senator to the cross.

Senator McMahon will continue to remain in the Senate as an independent, it is understood.

While this week she confirmed that she had been in talks with smaller parties, including the Liberal Democrats, about her future at the end of this term, there is no confirmation that she will sit with any party.

Senator McMahon, a veterinarian from Katherine, last year lost a fierce pre-selection battle for the seat to former Alice Springs deputy mayor Jacinta Price.

She was dumped by CLP from the NT Senate ticket at the next election, despite public comments on support at the time from Deputy Prime Minister and Head of State Barnaby Joyce.

NT Senator Sam McMahon speaks to the media at a press conference and looks serious.
Senator McMahon is expected to sit cross-legged as an independent.(ABC News: Hamish Harty)

Senator McMahon told ABC this week that she had “no intentions” of running in the next election, but that “one day is a long time in politics and one never knows what the future will bring”.

Her rejection of the party comes at a time when CLP will try to revoke two seats on the NT House of Representatives at the next election, both currently held by Labor.

In the NT government, where CLP currently has opposition status, Deputy CLP leader Gerard Maley said this week that Senator McMahon’s future was her case and that any rejection from the incumbent senator would not seem like a distraction to the party.

“Senator McMahon can do whatever she wants,” Mr Maley said.

Senator McMahon’s move leaves the NT without any sitting member of the coalition government.

CLP President Jamie De Brenni has been contacted for comment.

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