Choking back emotion, Attorney-General George Brandis has received a rare standing ovation from his political opponents for his furious repudiation of Pauline Hanson's burqa performance, declaring her stunt an "appalling thing to do".

The One Nation leader, covered in a black burqa with her Senate pin on display, swept into the Senate chamber shortly after question time began on Thursday, eliciting groans from Labor and Greens senators.

Called to ask a question, she swept the garment off with dramatic flourish and asked Senator Brandis whether his government would support her bid to ban the burqa.

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