Clive Palmer and former Queensland premier Campbell Newman will join forces at the next federal election.
Mining magnate Clive Palmer has revealed a preference deal between his United Australian Party and Campbell Newman’s Liberal Democrats for the upcoming federal election.
The two maligned Queensland figures have vocally criticised the two major parties in recent months and supported freedom rallies, which celebrate and promote the anti-vaccination movement.
Mr Newman, the former LNP premier of Queensland and Brisbane lord mayor, abandoned his former party earlier in the year in a bid to be elected to the Senate as a Liberal Democrat.
The preference deal will bring together some of Australia’s most controversial figures for a coalition-of-sorts in the upcoming 2021 election.
It will include UAP’s new recruit and federal MP Craig Kelly, who has championed anti-vaxxer material, and Liberal Democrat NSW Senate candidate, John Ruddick.
In announcing the partnership, Mr Palmer declared “we can never trust the Liberals, Labor or the Greens again”.
“Craig Kelly provides the best hope for all Australians to lead the country and I thank the Liberal Democrats for their support,” he said.
Mr Newman said “at this time of national crisis we need to end the Canberra nonsense”.
“We need to give back the freedom to choose, freedom of expression and freedom of speech,” he said. “Freedom matters.”
The alliance also marks a stunning change of fortunes for the former political foes.
At the 2015 Queensland state election, the mining magnate splashed a fortune to campaign against the then premier which resulted in Mr Newman being turfed out following just one term in office.
Mr Palmer tweeted at the time: “It’s time to say goodbye Campbell Newman”.