Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer says his wife Anna, who is vying for preselection for the Queensland election, won’t be favoured ahead of others.
If Clive Palmer’s wife is chosen to run as a candidate in his party it’ll be on her own merits, the federal MP insists.
The Palmer United Party (PUP) leader on Friday revealed his wife, Anna Palmer, was one of three candidates vying for preselection in the Gold Coast-based seat of Gaven at next year’s Queensland election.
It is currently held by former PUP state leader Alex Douglas, who quit in August to become an independent, alleging a culture of “jobs for the boys” within the party.
But Mr Palmer says he won’t have any say in his wife’s political future.
“There’s an independent committee of three people, of which I’m not a member, who’ll decide who the candidate will be,” Mr Palmer told AAP.
“We’ve got two other candidates who are pretty good – she may be selected or she may not be.”
But Mr Palmer could not immediately say who the other contenders were.
He said he wouldn’t have discussions with the other two candidates, because “it would be a conflict of interest, as you could appreciate”.
But he said his wife vying for preselection wasn’t a conflict of interest.
“She’s entitled to do what she wants to,” he said.
He also hit back at Dr Douglas’ cronyism claims, saying the Queensland MP’s own wife, Susie Douglas, ran for the party as a federal candidate in the seat of McPherson last year.
“Everyone that’s a member of my family, who works for our company or is a member of the party is entitled individually to stand for what they want to,” he said.
Mr Palmer said his wife decided to nominate for preselection because she had an interest in politics and was keen to see the party regain Gaven at the 2015 poll.
He said he was yet to decide whether PUP would run a candidate in Yeerongpilly against now-independent Carl Judge, who also quit the PUP earlier this month, leaving the party without a presence in state parliament.
Mr Palmer said the party would run candidates in most Queensland seats.
He said he’d already endorsed Ted Shepherd in Mudgeeraba, Steve Anderson in Maryborough and Jeremy Davies in Kawana.
On Thursday, Dr Douglas said he doubted PUP would run any candidates at all.
“I think the opportunity to do so has come and gone,” he said.