EXCLUSIVE: Jim Savage to run as independent for Lockyer
FORMER One Nation candidate and state president Jim Savage will once again contest the seat of Lockyer.
It can be exclusively revealed that Mr Savage, a 23-year veteran One Nation member who quit the party sensationally in May, will run as an independent at the October state election.
A former executive and state party president, Mr Savage contested the 2017 state election as One Nation's candidate for Lockyer, polling just 1.44 per cent behind the LNP victor Jim McDonald in first preferences.
However, since the election, sources said he had become a thorn to the party's hierarchy.
Mr Savage was one of six party members refused entry to the One Nation annual general meeting last year, after he called for financial records to be made available to members and criticised a decision to charge members to attend.
After the meeting, he declared he would be leaving the party, a threat he made good on late last month.
In a resignation letter sent to Pauline Hanson he accused the One Nation leader of having "trashed the values and standards" of the party.
The three-page letter, seen by the Gatton Star, included explosive accusations and statements.
"You have shown a total lack of respect for so many tried and tested loyal people who gave over 20 years of their lives fighting for you and our cause, even during the 13 years you were not even a member of One Nation," Mr Savage wrote in the letter.
Other accusations included that the party ran a "ghost candidate" at the last federal election, and that by preferencing Labor ahead of the LNP in last state election, One Nation secured Labor's win.
He also lamented the controversy surrounding James Ashby and Steve Dickson's ill-fated trip to the US, which was secretly filmed by Al Jazeera.
"(It) was an embarrassment to every Australian, let alone the long suffering One Nation members and supporters," Mr Savage wrote.
Senator Hanson was contacted for comment about these allegations.
A party spokesman did not directly address Mr Savage or his accusations, but said the party was "proud" of the positive impact it was having on the lives of Queenslanders.
"For the upcoming election, One Nation has candidates of the highest calibre and we ask Queenslanders who support devoted representation to give One Nation candidates their vote," the spokesman said.
"Former members who seek to derail the party's commitment to positive initiatives and a better future, are unwelcome."
Mr Savage confirmed he will run again as an independent for the seat of Lockyer in the October election, which will have him compete with the party's new candidate for the electorate, Corey West.
He said he would present himself to voters as the true representative of One Nation principles.
"If you're a true One Nation supporter - I am still your man," he said.
But while he was confident his own name recognition was the main reason for his strong result at the previous election, he said running without the backing of the party would split his vote.
"I think there's probably a core 4 to 6 per cent, that will always vote One Nation because they just love Pauline," he said.
Mr Savage confirmed although he was running as an independent, he had also joined a newly formed group called Australian Independents Movement.
He said the group had 28 core principles, including vegetation management, opposition to abortion and the Safe Schools program, but members would be independent to make decisions and advocate for issues in their own electorate
He said the values he held at the last elections still stood, and it was the One Nation party that had changed.
"The people who voted for me last time as a One Nation candidate, if they still believe in the same values, same policies and the same social conscience, then they should be voting for me," he said.
"I haven't changed, I'm still the same man - it's the leadership of One Nation that has changed."