LONG-serving rural Queensland MP Ray Hopper says he defected from the Liberal National Party because his conscience would not allow him to serve under the Newman government's leadership.
Mr Hopper has also revealed he changed his phone number and dodged calls from Premier Campbell Newman ahead of Sunday's announcement that he would join Katter's Australian Party.
The member for Condamine in south-west Queensland is leaving the LNP, which swept to government in March with 78 seats of the 89 seats in Parliament, to enter the fledgling Katter team.
Mr Hopper will join state leader Rob Katter, the son of federal MP Bob Katter, and earlier LNP defector Shane Knuth as the third parliamentarian in the minor party in Queensland.
The news comes on the eve of the final parliamentary sitting week of the year and follows a war of words between the Newman government and LNP life member Clive Palmer, who denounced Mr Newman's leadership and quit the party on Thursday.
Read more at Brisbane times
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