Media release

National director of the Palmer United Party Peter Burke said claims made by Glenn Lazarus in Fairfax media over the weekend were untrue and designed to damage the party.

“At no time did the Palmer United Party consider a proposal for its senators to join the Liberal Party, or any other party,’’ Mr Burke said.

The Palmer United Party is governed by a constitution and does not have the authority to do so. The party would never desert the Australians who voted for it or its party members.

Never has the Palmer United Party had discussions with the Liberal Party about a merger.

If there were any truth in what Senator Lazarus is saying, why would he wait three months to raise these allegations?

His comments are highly defamatory to the Palmer United Party and our leader and have been designed to cause damage.

“We will be undertaking defamation proceedings against Senator Lazarus over this matter,” Mr Burke said.

Mr Burke said the future of the Palmer United Party is very bright. It has called for nominations for all House of Representative and Senate seats at the next federal election and received hundreds of nominations.

“The reason Senator Lazarus makes these accusations is because his wife Tess was sacked by the party.”

“There is no doubting the timing of Senator Lazarus’s defection from the party which came after Tess’ sacking as a result of her not doing her job.”

Mr Burke said Tess Lazarus was dismissed for spending her time writing speeches and questions for her husband instead of working on agreed party duties.

“After repeated efforts to have her engage in the correct party duties were ignored, the party had no alternative but to dismiss her,’’ Mr Burke said.

Mr Burke said the Palmer United Party received more than 250,000 votes above the line at the last Federal Senate election and only 6770 votes went below the line to Glenn Lazarus, showing that voters clearly had put the party before any individual.

Senator Lazarus remains bitter but he is the one who betrayed all those who voted for the Palmer United Party and the party’s members who worked so hard to have their representative elected in Queensland.

Australians are sick of politicians telling them one thing before an election and then behaving differently once elected.

Our constitution requires any party representative who resigns from the party to refund money spent on their campaign, which so far, Senator Lazarus has failed to do.

We have written to Senator Lazarus demanding reimbursement of funds spent on his campaign but he seems to be obfuscating responsibility.

“His actions have been defamatory. I would expect more from a great Australian sportsman. I think the way he is acting puts him offside with the rugby league community,’’ Mr Burke said.

ENDS