TONY Abbott says the Gillard government only survives because of the tainted vote of Craig Thomson and he’s challenged the Prime Minister to bar the central coast MP from voting. [The Australian 30 May 2012]
In which Abbott, Entsch and Pyne show just how silly they can be on 30 May 2012.....
In a media doorstop Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott himself called, he at first denied outright that he had voted with Independent MP Craig Thomson against a motion to gag Opposition Treasury spokesperson Joe Hockey.
Commonwealth Hansard states differently at approximately 9.10am:
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Leader of the Opposition was on the floor at the time—that is the chamber. We will now proceed with the vote. The question is that the member be no longer heard.
Coulton, M (teller)
Secker, PD (teller)
Van Manen, AJ
***The NSW Nationals Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, on the NSW North Coast also voted with Thomson.
While the above video of the House of Representatives just prior to the vote shows Abbott’s attempt to leave the Chamber, improperly and in defiance of parliamentary procedure, after the Acting Speaker had called for the doors to be locked on a division.
Not being so swift when not clad in Lycra, he was caught by the Acting Speaker and forced to return to his seat to then take part in the vote.
The Acting Speaker, Deputy Speaker Anna Burke had the last word on the subject:
...it is not for the opposition or the government to accept a member's vote. We need to clarify this: it is for the parliament to accept a member's vote...
End of story.