CLIVE Palmer has jumped to the defence of an ABC television host whose program’s exposure he enjoyed at the height of Palmer United Party’s short-lived time as relevant to the Australian political landscape.
PUP may never again hold a share of the Senate’s balance of power and Mr Palmer’s own place in parliament is now just a memory, but the one-time billionaire does not easily forget where his light once shone.
The PUP leader has spoken out against the Prime Minister’s comments about host Tony Jones during Q&A last night.
“Turnbull’s attack last night was an attack on the independence and integrity of the ABC and an attempt to bully Tony Jones,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“The Prime Minister’s conduct was a disgrace and a desperate attempt to ingratiate the ABC’s competitors such as The Australian and Fox programs including the Bolt Report and Paul Murray Live.
“As Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull has responsibility to protect and defend the ABC not drag it down for Liberal Party purposes.
“His attack on the ABC shows how desperate the Government is getting as it faces a real prospect of returning to the opposition benches.
“Tony Jones remains as one of Australia’s truly independent journalists. All Australians must defend and protect freedom of speech especially when it comes under attack by the leader of the Government.’’
Mr Turnbull light-heartedly referred to questions from Mr Jones as doing the Labor Party’s bidding.
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