A leaked phone conversation indicates Fraser Anning’s controversial - and widely condemned - maiden speech was designed to lift the senator’s profile and “hit a nerve”.

The recording, obtained by Sky News, is of so-called confidante and one-time One National Queensland state secretary Jim Savage saying he had told Anning months ago he had to “go out there and say something really controversial”.

“Hit that nerve,” Savage is heard to brag to an unidentified person, about what he’d told the Queensland senator.

“Otherwise you’ll be forgotten. No-one will know who you are. You will be forgotten.

“That’s exactly what he did.”

Fraser Anning received just 19 primary votes at the 2016 election, but entered the senate as a replacement for One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts.

He immediately defected and joined Bob Katter’s Australia Party.

His chances of re-election next year are next to nothing, but his speech, condemned by both house of parliament, has, if nothing else, lifted his profile.

The speech, to the senate on Tuesday night, called for an end to Muslim migration, and a return to the White Australia Policy.

Most controversially, it referred to the “final solution” - a term from Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.

One of senator Anning’s staff, Richard Macgilvray, who didn’t write the speech, has since resigned.

Senator Anning’s leader, Bob Katter, backed the speech “1000 percent”, and today revealed it was the senator who wrote the speech.

The controversy is seen to have set up a battle for the right, in Queensland, between Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, and Bob Katter.