Federal leader of the Palmer United Party and member for Fairfax Clive Palmer has criticised Liberal-leaning media commentators for their intense scrutiny of Malcolm Turnbull over a simple dinner.
“Liberal media commentators should not be picking on Malcolm Turnbull over a simple dinner meeting I had with him,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“I have had many meetings with various Liberal front benchers since becoming a member of parliament that haven’t rated a mention.
“I have met with Julie Bishop, Christopher Pyne, George Brandis and Eric Abetz. I have also had discussions with Joe Hockey and Warren Truss.
“Yet all of the controversy surrounds a dinner I had with Malcolm Turnbull,’’ he said.
“I thought there would have been more interest in some of the other names since Alan Jones himself said on his very popular radio program that Malcolm had no chance of ever leading the Liberal party.
“It amazes me that I can’t even have a simple Chinese meal with a parliamentary colleague and old friend without it creating such a fuss.
“I know most coalition members believe internally that Malcolm is the most popular leader with the broader community. I think this is why we are seeing the controversy or is it paranoia by the leadership group led by the Prime Minister?
“I can understand why Tony Abbott is concerned about Malcolm because he is witty, successful and smart.’’