Pauline Hanson abandons plans to move to UK

Former right-wing Australian politician abandons plans to move to the UK because 'it's overrun with immigrants and refugees'.

SYDNEY // Australian anti-immigration firebrand Pauline Hanson on Sunday said she had abandoned plans to move to Britain because "it's overrun with immigrants and refugees".

Hanson, the former One Nation party chief who famously warned that Australia was at risk of being "swamped by Asians", said France was also inundated with foreigners and she had decided to stay in Australia.

"I love England but so many people want to leave there because it's overrun with immigrants and refugees," Hanson, 56, told the Sun Herald newspaper

"France is becoming filled with Muslims and the French and English are losing their way of life because they're controlled by foreigners."

The former fish and chip shop owner in February announced she was emigrating to Britain due to disillusionment with Australia's immigration and trade policies.

The far-right British National Party said Hanson would be "very welcome" in their party, lamenting the "politically correct intimidation and bullying" which had driven her from her home country.

But after a 10-week tour of Europe Hanson said she had decided life in Australia was not so bad.

"Problems are worse over there than they are in Australia," she said.

"Australia is still the best place in the world to live, (though) the same sorts of awful things are happening here too."

Hanson drew international condemnation but briefly won domestic support in the 1990s with her anti-immigration and trade protection policies, before losing her seat in 1998.

She spent several weeks in jail in 2003 for fraudulently spending electoral funds before the judgement was overturned.

In 2007, she ran unsuccessfully for a national Senate seat, switching her target from Asians to Islam and calling for an end to immigration by Muslims to protect "Australian culture".

Last year, Hanson blamed her failure in the Queensland state election on the publication of raunchy photos purportedly taken by an ex-boyfriend. The pictures turned out to be of another woman.

Hanson also hinted at a return to politics, saying she had "constantly" been encouraged by well-wishers in Europe.

"I still haven't got politics out of my system," she said.