ALAN PORRITT

This will be a catastrophe for the party: PUP leader quits

CLIVE Palmer's son Michael is expected to line up against Fiona Simpson in Maroochydore at the next state election, with Tess Sanders, the wife of Queensland Senator Glenn Lazarus, a likely starter against Steve Dickson in Buderim following a day of chaos for the Palmer United Party.

The party's state leader, Alex Douglas, who quit yesterday declaring he could not support a "jobs for the boys" culture, said an announcement had been planned for 4pm.

"He (Clive Palmer) would not talk to me about it,'' Mr Douglas said. "He would not discuss it. I was supposed to tick it off and I wouldn't. He even tried to stare me down.

"This is just so ridiculous. We all deserve something better. We've had the nonsense of Campbell Newman. People are sick of it and want something better.

"This will be a catastrophe for the party. Maybe it will wake him (Palmer) up.''

Alex Douglas
Alex Douglas Contributed

Mr Palmer, the PUP national leader, refused to rule out or confirm the endorsement of his son or Ms Sanders.

Mr Palmer said PUP was likely to announce within a month its list of candidates for every one of Queensland's 89 seats.

He would not confirm rumours that his son and Senator Lazarus's wife would be candidates here but said Michael had stood for the LNP in Nudgee in 2009 and had worked in Senator Ted Kennedy's office in the United States.

"He has a long experience in politics,'' Mr Palmer said.

Mr Palmer took aim at his former state leader, saying Mr Douglas, a nephew of Katter Party founder Bob Katter, had pushed for a merger with that party and had wanted pre-selection of "pro-Katter people".

He said there would be no merger and that the "Katter Party days are over". "I expect to see Alex join the Katter Party,'' Mr Palmer said.

"He's been overseas for a month. We asked him to come and meet some potential candidates last week and he was too busy.''

Mr Palmer denied the loss of the state leader was a body blow to his party, which has already begun an advertising campaign on television.

The new PUP state leader is Carl Judge.



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