The Queensland Police Union says Treasurer Tim Nicholls is trying to undermine Campbell Newman because he wants to be premier.
No Liberal National Party politician wants to be likened to Australia’s most famous political underminer.
But that’s exactly how the Queensland Police Union sees state Treasurer Tim Nicholls.
“Tim Nicholls is the Kevin Rudd of the LNP who seems to be undermining the premier and police at every turn,” QPU president Ian Leavers says.
Mr Leavers claims the treasurer has been knocking back police funding proposals to undermine Mr Newman, who’s facing a tough election battle in his seat of Ashgrove.
He says the treasurer is doing it because he’s angling to become the next premier.
“It appears this is a deliberate attempt to sabotage the government by Tim Nicholls because he wants to be premier,” Mr Leavers said.
The QPU claims six government MPs are so worried Mr Nicholls will take the top job after the election they’re prepared to jump ship and run as independents.
Opposition transport spokeswoman Jackie Trad said the revelations showed further dysfunction in LNP.
“If these people have no faith in Campbell Newman’s leadership, then how can Queenslanders?” she said.
But the premier stood up in parliament and dismissed all the claims as “a bit of union mischief” in the lead up to QPU internal elections.
He also defended his government’s “100 per cent backing” of the police service.
“And a person who is right behind them 100 per cent is my friend the treasurer of Queensland,” Mr Newman told parliament, placing a hand on Mr Nicholls’ shoulder.
But the treasurer didn’t react to the gesture, leading the opposition benches to erupt into hysterical laughter.