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Clive Palmer ditches PUP, quits politics

Clive Palmer is questioned by reporters as he leaves the Federal Court in Brisbane, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Liquidators are resuming their examination of former federal MP Clive Palmer, over the collapse of Queensland Nickel. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

AAP & Oonagh Reidy

Controversial politician and millionaire businessman Clive Palmer has waved goodbye to politics and disbanding his party, Palmer United Party (PUP), it emerged today.

The former Queensland MP says today’s political environment is different from 2013 when the Palmer United Party was formed to oppose the federal carbon and mining taxes. The PUP founder will cancel his party’s registration with the Australian Electoral Commission, he confirmed in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Mr Palmer also confirmed he had personally retired from politics after a tumultuous few years, which saw PUP’s only remaining Senator lose his seat in last year’s general election and party infighting, with Senate candidates Jacquie Lambie and Glenn Lazarus, both quitting the party.

Palmer’s business dealings were also not without controversy.

He was accused of using his nickel firm, Queensland Nickel, to bankroll his political party, which went into voluntary administration in 2016, leaving company workers out of pocket.

“I would like to thank the members and thousands of Australians in every state of the Commonwealth who have supported the party and its candidates during the last four years,” Palmer said in a statement.

He also thanked the “thousands of Australians in every state who have supported the party.”

PUP was founded in 2013 with Mr Palmer winning the parliamentary seat of Fairfax in the 2014 Federal general election.