One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is off on an international holiday despite the looming Longman by-election. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is off on an international holiday despite the looming Longman by-election. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Hanson: ‘I put in long hours and work extremely hard’

ONE Nation leader Pauline Hanson has hit back at people­ criticising her for taking a holiday during the final week of campaigning for the crucial Longman by-election in Queensland.

Thousands of miles away from the electorate and having just stepped off one of the world's most luxurious cruise ships in Dublin, she told The Daily Telegraph she was "not going to apologise to anyone".

"I put in long hours and work extremely hard," she said.

"Am I sorry the by-election­ has been called? Of course I am but this was booked before."

Pauline Hanson on holiday in Europe.
Pauline Hanson on holiday in Europe.

Senator Hanson, who had just visited the Netherlands, said her "great' Longman candidate Matthew Stephen was "capable of answering questions" by himself.

 

She said she needed a break after a gruelling parliamentary year dealing with defections from within her own party and going to war with Labor leader Bill Shorten over her support for the Turnbull government's personal income tax cuts.

"Even David Leyonhjelm kept saying to me, 'Are you OK? You look terrible'," Ms Hanson said.

"I said, 'I'm completely exhausted. I needed a holiday'."

She said she wasn't surprised" by the YouGov Galaxy poll published earlier this week by The Daily Telegraph that revealed her party's primary vote had doubled in the Longman electorate and could hand the seat to the Coalition.

"It doesn't surprise me because the last two years I've worked extremely hard in Queensland and we've achieved so many things for the electorate," she said.

Mr Stephen yesterday denied­ claims he owed debts to subcontractors from his work as tiler and said Ms Hanson would be back campaigning­ with him at polling places on Saturday.

Ms Hanson yesterday also endorsed supporters' comments calling for the "slaughter" of Labor's Longman by-election candidate Susan Lamb.

The comments on her official­ Facebook page have raised concerns among Labor campaigners.

But Ms Hanson said her supporters should be able to make jokes based on her political­ opponents' name.