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Windsor not Palmer's phantom candidate

Tony Windsor says he is not Clive Palmer's phantom federal candidate despite rumours of the independent federal MP joining the United Australia Party, sparked by a cryptic tweet.

Mr Palmer, the newly reformed UAP's leader, has flagged the possible announcement of a federal candidate at a press conference to be held on Thursday morning.

The mining magnate and aspiring prime minister has stated several federal and state MPs have expressed an interest in joining his party.

Rumours abounded that Mr Windsor could be one of those MPs following the tweet from the independent New England MP this week.

The tweet showed a photo of himself and the United Australia Party leader in a Glen Innes pub with the message "Met @clivepalmer for dinner in Glen Innes, discussed how much more respect on both sides would make a more United oz".

Mr Windsor said he had "never met Mr Palmer before" and the mining billionaire came through Glen Innes for dinner.


"We had a good yarn," Mr Windsor said.

"We spoke about a number of things and I don't agree with everything he has to say and he doesn't agree with everything I said, but one thing we do agree on is that people have a right to stand for political office."

But Mr Windsor said he would not be joining a political party.

Not long after Mr Palmer returned to Queensland, he sent out a media alert announcing a press conference on Thursday morning where he would provide an "update on the United Australia Party federal election campaign and candidate announcement".

It is understood Mr Palmer drove his recently acquired Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead coupe to Sydney on Sunday for a series of media interviews on Monday.

On his return to the sunshine state Mr Palmer stopped by Glen Innes for a talk with Mr Windsor.

Mr Windsor, who began his political life as a National Party candidate for the seat of Tamworth, represented the New England north-west seat from 1991 to 2001 before winning his federal seat in 2001.

Nationals Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce will challenge Mr Windsor for the seat in the coming election.

Peter Slipper has also been rumoured as a potential candidate for the UAP.

Mr Slipper resigned from the Liberal party in late 2011 after which he was installed as an independent speaker in the federal parliament, a role he relinquished in October 2012 following a series of scandals.

In an article with the Sunshine Coast Daily late last month, Mr Slipper expressed his support for Mr Palmer's tilt for the seat of Fairfax and said he imagined "his candidacy would be viewed by many Fairfax residents as being more attractive than that of the LNP".

Mr Palmer expressed his support for Mr Slipper in July last year by tweeting:

"Never any support from me for James Ashby. I've known Peter Slipper 40yrs. He's a man of integrity. This issue best left for the courts."

Mr Palmer is expected to announce five more candidates on the Gold Coast on Monday. He has said he will have at least 150 candidates for House of Representative seats.

He is still yet to register his party with the Australian Electoral Commission.

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