Mark Latham has joined One Nation and will lead the party at the New South Wales election in March.
The former Labor leader made the announcement on the Today Show on Tuesday morning, standing side-by-side with his new boss Pauline Hanson.
The announcement put an end to months of speculation that Latham was contemplating a political comeback after swearing off politics in 2005 in his infamous book The Latham Diaries.
Latham told the Today Show he will run for the Upper House on a campaign promise to ease Sydney’s over-population and congestion.
“Labor and the Coalition have got the same policies,” he said. “It’s important to give people a third choice.”
One Nation has had difficulty holding onto party members in recent years and suffered a number of setbacks due to reported in-party fighting and a clash of ideals.
However, Hanson rubbished suggestions she and Latham would butt heads and find it difficult to work together.
“Mark is the state leader. I’m the federal leader,” Hanson told Today. “The state needs strong leadership. He knows about the state. I’m not going to interfere in the state.
“This is about the party moving forward. About working as a team. We’re both strong, independent people. He has a lot to offer.”
Taking to Facebook shortly after the interview, Hanson said she was “very proud” to welcome Latham to the party.
“Mark will be the party’s New South Wales state leader and will be running for the NSW legislative council at the next state election,” she wrote.
“I think it is safe to say the NSW election just got a lot more interesting.”
Latham has been floating the idea of a political comeback for months and briefly joined the Liberal Democrats before teaming up with One Nation for Queensland’s Longman by-election.
Earlier this year he appeared on Sky News where he said he wasn’t sure if he would be joining Hanson’s party.
“I’ve not made any decision – I do get people urging me, mainly on the basis, they say the country’s gone crazy,” Latham said. “When you look at the political correctness, the identity politics, the anti-white racism. People so often say to me ‘the country’s gone mad. What’s happened? Why has it changed so badly in the last decade? You should get in and do something’.”