Northern Territory Senator Sam McMahon has been accused of trying to physically beat one of her Nationals’ party colleagues in a pub in Canberra.
Witnesses told Sky News that Senator McMahon took “several turns” on Jonathan Hawkes, the Nationals’ federal director, during the party’s Christmas drinks Thursday night.
Senator McMahon had reportedly been drinking at the event along with other MPs and staff as she allegedly took three or four swings on Mr Hawkes.
A spokesman for National leader Barnaby Joyce confirmed that the incident took place, but indicated that Mr Joyce would not investigate the matter further.
“The Deputy Prime Minister has been informed that there was an incident at the Christmas party on Thursday night,” the spokesman told NCA NewsWire.
“A remorseful apology has been given and accepted.
“Both parties have expressly stated that they want this to be the end of the problem and out of respect for them this will be complied with by our office.”
It is unclear what exactly led to Senator McMahon’s outburst, but at least one witness told Sky News that it appeared the NT politician was either led away or even thrown out of the event at the time.
In June, Senator McMahon lost his primary election campaign for Country Liberal Party first place on the Senate ticket to then-Alice Springs Deputy Mayor Jacinta Price.
In the week leading up to the vote, Senator McMahon dismissed allegations that she was drunk on the floor in parliament, accusing rivals of undermining her during the bitter pre-election campaign.
Senator McMahon is currently in quarantine in the NT and has not responded to requests for comment on the incident.