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The government has cancelled the next parliamentary sitting week for the House of Representatives, protecting itself from losing votes in the chamber while MPs Barnaby Joyce and John Alexander contest byelections.

The government’s leader in the House, Christopher Pyne, said the move would allow the House to vote on the same-sex marriage bill currently before the Senate, saying the government may recall Parliament for an extra week before Christmas to vote on marriage equality. Non-government MPs responded furiously, with independent MP Bob Katter threatening to convene Parliament on Monday and vote on bills without the government …

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Alex McKinnon, The Saturday Paper