Ipswich MPs disagree with Newman on 'troublemaker' Clive

Mining magnate Clive Palmer.
Mining magnate Clive Palmer. John Gass

PREMIER Campbell Newman has pointed the finger at LNP rogue mining magnate Clive Palmer for the two defections - but his Ipswich party room colleagues beg to differ.

MPs Ian Berry and Sean Choat said the rebel LNP members left because they had "unfulfilled ministerial ambitions", rather than because of Mr Palmer's alleged interference.

Mr Newman told ABC radio yesterday that Mr Palmer was leading the disunity which had hit the party in recent weeks.

"You only have to look at who's driving this, and they've admitted this now, you've only got to look at who is behind the comments, who is providing financial support, we believe, and backing these people,'' he told ABC 612.

"It all comes back to Mr Palmer, doesn't it?"

MPs Mr Berry and Mr Choat and Federal MP for Wright Scott Buchholz agreed the billionaire was entitled to his views.

Ipswich MP Ian Berry said he had spoken with Mr Palmer at an LNP function and found him quite a likeable character.

"I liked talking to him. Let's face it, the man is a businessman who achieved by taking risks, but sometimes things don't come your way," he said.

"I've met a lot of people like him and they expect results. But sometimes they don't come."

Ipswich West MP Sean Choat said Mr Palmer shouldn't be condemned for speaking publicly.

"He's got his own views and I respect that," he said.

"I just don't buy that he's to blame for the deserters.

"For me it's quite plain and simple. They had a number of reasons they have left the party."

Mr Buchholz said everyone should be entitled to free speech, even if it came at a political party's detriment.

"Sometimes it's the downside to democracy. Not everyone agrees with what you agree with, but it's a fundamental right," he said.

"Sometimes it would be more savoury for them to not say them, but it would be a dark day if someone was burnt at the stake for it. I think we have moved on from that."

Topics:  campbell newman clive palmer ian berry lnp politics sean choat

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