Fairfax MP Clive Palmer.
Fairfax MP Clive Palmer. Brett Wortman

Clive Palmer asks PM if MPs' phones are bugged

OUTSPOKEN Fairfax MP Clive Palmer has alleged Australian intelligence agencies may be spying on as many as five politicians.

In his maiden Question Time query, Mr Palmer urged Prime Minister Tony Abbott to "come clean" on allegations MPs were being spied on by the intelligence community.

While Mr Abbott deflected the remark, Mr Palmer again alleged up to five MPs were being watched by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, outside the chamber.

His comments come after Independent Senator Nick Xenophon recently alleged politicians' phone calls and emails may be being monitored.

Mr Palmer said he wanted to know if his or any other cross-benchers in parliament had their phones or emails intercepted by any federal or state agencies.

"In light of the Indonesian spying fiasco, Mr Abbott now needs to come clean on whether he is eavesdropping on members of the Australian Parliament for his own political gain,'' Mr Palmer said.

In a wide-ranging press conference, Mr Palmer also hit out at the Abbott Government's asylum seeker policies, describing the alleged removal of babies from mothers in detention as "neo-fascist".

He said there were "thousands of children that are in detention", and he believed those children were not receiving adequate schooling or health care.

Mr Palmer said he was also concerned about a lack of transparency over the treatment of refugees, calling on Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to "take responsibility" for the care of asylum seekers in detention.


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