Sunday, 30 October 2011

'One Nation' in a Hat | Katter to spoil the party

Exclusive: MP Shane Knuth has defected from the Liberal National Party
Shane Knuth
Shane Knuth has defected from the LNP. Source: The Sunday Mail (Qld)

The Liberal National Party faces a bombshell this morning, with the defection of another MP and threats of more to come.

LNP heavyweights holed up at the Gold Coast for state council will learn of the defection of Shane Knuth (pictured) to Bob Katter's Australia Party in today's Sunday Mail. Tension between National and Liberal MPs is reaching fever pitch as discipline within the merged party deteriorates, threatening Campbell Newman's clear run for premier.

It comes as more LNP members are making "overtures" to join Katter's fledgling party. Mr Knuth, the MP for Dalrymple in inland northern Queensland, said he could no longer stomach being forced to vote against National core values or watching the poor treatment of former Nationals. "It has been clearly seen that many of the long-term, experienced MPs have been thrown out of the backbench and have little to no say in shadow cabinet," Mr Knuth told The Sunday Mail.
Mr Knuth said his decision was accelerated after learning that the LNP paid a former Labor staff member for dirt files on ALP MPs.Mr Katter, the Federal MP for Kennedy, said he was not surprised "Shaney" had jumped ship because he had the choice of "ratting on his party or ratting on his mates" as Labor and the LNP were bound to privatise passenger rail services.

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