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New battlefront opens up in Palmer LNP war


Mining magnate Clive Palmer says Queensland's deputy premier is "a thug" with no integrity and must be sacked.

Mr Palmer has spectacularly reignited his war with the Liberal National Party, calling for the heads of Jeff Seeney and Treasurer Tim Nicholls.

His comments end any pretence of a truce in which Mr Palmer, Mr Seeney and Premier Campbell Newman engaged in public slanging matches earlier this year.

The comments also threaten Mr Palmer's life membership of the Liberal National Party, which has been a beneficiary of his enormous wealth over many years.

Mr Palmer has told AAP that Queensland has a deputy premier who lacks honesty, impartiality and respect for the community.

He says Mr Seeney's decision to audit the activities of his company, Waratah Coal, is a "dangerous" act of payback for court action related to a mining rail project.

"It's a very dangerous thing when a minister of the Queensland government - who was subject to court action - directs government officers to intervene in the business affairs of the party taking that action," Mr Palmer told AAP.

"He's doing it to intimidate me, and to threaten me.

"It is contempt of court. He is a thug, he is a bully and he has a long history of being a bully."

Earlier this year, Waratah Coal lost out to rival GVK-Hancock in June to build a rail corridor to link the Bowen and Galilee basins with the Abbot Point coal terminal.

Mr Palmer initiated legal action, saying Mr Seeney had failed to explain the reasons for that decision.

On Friday, Mr Palmer also accused Treasurer Tim Nicholls of lying about the state of the economy.

He said there were grounds for his dismissal too.

Mr Seeney and Mr Nicholls declined to comment to AAP.

The relationship between Mr Palmer, and the party that he says he loves, descended into rancour earlier this year.

Since the LNP won the March election, Mr Palmer has railed against its public sector job cuts and its hike in coal mining royalties, among other things.

He also warned of a backbench revolt and questioned whether Campbell Newman, who he suggested had a dictatorial style, would still be premier by Christmas.

On the flip side, Mr Seeney and Mr Newman claimed Mr Palmer had inappropriately sought to use friends within the LNP to pressure the government over his personal business interests.

The war came to a head in September when the acting LNP president Gary Spence wrote to Mr Palmer, saying he should reconsider his membership of the party.

Mr Spence said the party could not condone his public attacks on the Newman government.

In something that vaguely resembled a truce, Mr Palmer said he would remain in the party but acknowledged the LNP's constitution made it clear members had a duty to the party and that only the president or the state director could speak for the party.

But there was no promise he'd stay silent - only a clarification that any public comments he made were in his capacity as a businessman, not on behalf of the LNP.