Clive Palmer says it’s unsurprising that his friends join his political party but refuses to answer questions on his Queensland executive.
Clive Palmer has angrily refused to name the executives of his party in Queensland and defended the recruitment of mates amid claims of nepotism and jobs for friends.
The mining magnate turned federal MP held a media conference on Wednesday, a day after Alex Douglas went public about his reasons for quitting as the Palmer United Party’s Queensland parliamentary leader.
Ironically, it was held at Paradise Point on the Gold Coast, which falls within the state seat of Broadwater.
Dr Douglas alleges the PUP executive fast-tracked the preselection of Mr Palmer’s brother-in-law George Sokolov, a party photographer, for that electorate.
He also says that Mr Palmer’s son Michael, an unsuccessful Liberal National Party state candidate in 2009, has been chosen as a candidate along with Queensland senator Glenn Lazarus’s wife Tess.
The PUP is yet to confirm any preselection.
But Mr Palmer refused to answer a question on who ran the PUP’s Queensland executive.
“It’s not for me to answer your questions and follow your agenda. I won’t do that,” he told reporters.
“You tell me who the executives are of the Liberal Party.”
He said the PUP website had information on its office bearers but AAP was unable to find any details of executive members.
Dr Douglas has described the PUP as a shell organisation with only Mr Palmer making decisions.
The Gold Coast MP, who defected from the LNP in late 2012 before joining the PUP last year, said Mr Palmer’s party had no formal state party structure and “no commitment to policy formation”.
Mr Palmer defended his party’s structure.
“It’s not really outstanding to think that people who join the Palmer United Party won’t be some of my friends, some of the people I work with because we all think the same way,” he said.