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Clive Palmer slaps down talk of a merger with Katter party


Amy Remeikis

Clive Palmer.

Clive Palmer. Photo: Glenn Hunt

Palmer United Party boss Clive Palmer has flatly rejected claims by his Queensland party leader that a merger with the Katter Australia Party was on the cards.

The leader of the Party in Queensland, Alex Douglas, said any merger between PUP and Katter Party MPs would “most likely” happen under the Palmer brand - but Mr Palmer says there are no such plans.

In an text to Fairfax Media, Mr Palmer said "It's news to me. Not true."

Told that Mr Douglas had said it would happen 'ultimately, before the next election', Mr Palmer responded "Nothing happening, nothing agreed, We will never merge with the Katter party. I am the leader of the party and that (is) the position." 

Mr Douglas had said it was “no secret” that he and the Queensland Katter MPs had been “talking for a long time” about joining forces and said it would “ultimately” happen before the next election – which Dr Douglas believes will be called for October.

He also said he believed the PUP brand was “overwhelming significant” to the move's success.

“We are working together and ultimately we will merge in together – but under the banner of the PUP,” he said.

“Because the PUP name is a powerful brand – it means things to people in ways that were never really thought of when it was established.

“I think that the Katter brand has probably run out of energy a bit and I think that the PUP brand is a lot stronger.”

Robbie Katter, one of three MPs the KAP has in Queensland, told the ABC any prospective merge between the two parties would be “nothing to sneezed at”.

The details are still to be worked out, and no deals have been signed, but in the mean time, Dr Douglas said that he, the three KAP MPs, and fellow PUP MP Carl Judge would work “even closer together”.

He said that Queensland was looking for an alternative and he and his party offered that “chance for change”.

Dr Douglas, who resigned from the LNP in November 2012, said he believed members of his former party would also join PUP.

“We are not a fly by night minority, here one day, gone the next,” he said.

“I am not trying to force them [KAP] into something, I want them to agree to it, that they think it is a good idea, same with members of the LNP, who want to join us.

“I just want to be able to offer a reasonable solution.”

Dr Douglas said federal party leader, Clive Palmer, was aware of the Queensland branch's intentions.

“He knows what we are doing, he is supportive,” Dr Douglas said.

“He would have liked me to do it a lot faster – but I would have liked people to make their own speed and know what they are getting into.” 

Mr Palmer has been approached for further comment, as have Katter Party MPs.

37 comments so far

  • Anything that helps to depose the incumbent mob is fine.

    Yes Minister
    Woop Woop
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 9:44PM
    • So much for democracy under Mr Palmer. Everything has to be his way. Not sure the AEC will like that.

      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 9:51PM
      • Parties don't have to be run on a democratic basis. Nothing to do with the AEC.

        Date and time
        March 22, 2014, 9:53AM
      • Funny that as Alex Douglass (PUP) and the Katter Party member were on Brisbane TV yesterday holding hands and almost kissing at the thought of the Union between the two splinter parties. Katter 2 members PUP 1 member in State Government.

        Date and time
        March 22, 2014, 11:35AM
      • It would be nice and a good thing for democracy, but these two independents are unlikely to ever be able work together. Who for example, would be the head guy of this new micro-coalition? Can you imagine anyone trying to control what Bob Katter says?

        Mongo MuCallum
        Date and time
        March 22, 2014, 9:09PM
    • So let me get this straight.
      National Party reject Bob Katter, and Liberal Party reject Clive Palmer set up their own Egos, sorry Political Parties.
      Both become Federal MPs.
      Both have State Branches with MPs, and hundreds of members.
      But if the State MPs, or the membership, think that the 2 conservative renegade parties should merge, either Bob or Clive can say no?
      Does this mean all their policies can also be vetoed by Bob or Clive?
      And that their endorsement is at the whim of Bob or Clive?
      Is it legal for a political party to be registered, and collect public funding, if only one person decides everything?

      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 9:58PM
      • Wonder who will end up wearing the hat?

        Who's the boss
        Date and time
        March 22, 2014, 8:09AM
      • Hopper, Judge and Douglas could be added to the ego list.

        big heads bigger hats
        Date and time
        March 22, 2014, 9:29AM
      • Yes!

        Date and time
        March 22, 2014, 9:54AM
    • What Palmer United Party members have to realise is that this party is NOT a democracy. It is owned and run by Clive Palmer. Majority does NOT rule here.

      If Clive doesn't want it to happen, it WON'T happen.

      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:08PM

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