George Christensen has been dunked on by a former colleague as the Nationals try to distance themselves following reports he was considered a blackmail risk by federal police.
In a 2018 letter written to then home affairs minister Peter Dutton, the Australian Federal Police warned about the former Dawson MP’s frequent travel to Southeast Asia.
“(He) has engaged in activities that could potentially place him at risk of being targeted for compromise by foreign interests,” it read.
Following a “thorough assessment”, no criminal conduct was identified despite a source raising concerns Mr Christensen “engaged in improper conduct overseas potentially in contravention of Australian law”.
The former politician spent close to 300 days in the Philippines over a four-year period from 2014-2018.
His frequent travels led to some colleagues unflatteringly branding him the member for Manila.
Speaking with Nine, former colleague and now Nationals leader David Littleproud labelled it a “sorry affair”.
“George Christensen has never been a mate of mine and it’s a good thing he’s not in this parliament,” he said.
“I think obviously there are national security issues at play here; I wasn’t privy to those but I do know there were strong conversations had, subsequent to George about his travel movements.
“I know that they were curtailed.”
Ms Christensen has previously said media reports of his overseas trips were a vile smear.
He was dumped from the federal parliament in May after defecting to One Nation, where he relegated himself to an unwinnable spot on the party’s Senate ticket.
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