Craig Kelly to lead United Australia Party

23 August 2021

Written by: Hanne Grant

Kelly will team up with billionaire Clive Palmer to push a "fightback" against lockdowns and potential vaccine mandates.

Former Liberal MP Craig Kelly has announced he will join Clive Palmer’s United Australia party as lead candidate in the next federal election. Kelly is known for his conservative views, as well as being vocal in opposing COVID-19 containment measures and pushing an anti-lockdown agenda.

In a statement this morning, Kelly announced his intentions to lead a “fightback” against “authoritarian” COVID-19 restrictions. A strong anti-lockdown stance and renewed High Court challenges against border closures and vaccine passports are among his promises.

“With endless lockdowns, emergence of a police state, censorship & our state borders shut I no longer recognise the country I grew up in & fear for our nation’s future,” Kelly said on Twitter.

Kelly has been the elected member for the southern Sydney seat of Hughes since 2010, and was saved by PM Scott Morrision from preselection in 2018 after calls to oust him by fellow Liberal MPs. In February 2021 Kelly announced his shock decision to resign from the Liberal Party and join the crossbench as an independent.

Despite previously describing billionaire Clive Palmer as a “menace” to parliament, Kelly and Palmer have been growing closer over the past year. In May, it was reported Kelly asked Palmer to contribute to his crowdfunding campaign set up to pay for his defamation case against Facebook.

Facebook permanently banned Kelly’s page earlier in the year for spreading COVID-19 misinformation, after he shared several posts advocating hydroxychloroquine and broad spectrum anti-parasite drug Ivermectin as treatments for the coronavirus.

While Ivermectin is FDA approved for human use in some specific circumstances, the drug is most commonly used to deworm livestock. Mississippi reported one hospitalisation and an increasing number of calls to their poison control centre, as a growing number of people are using animal-specific Ivermectin bought at livestock supply centres to treat COVID-19.

Kelly has declared he won’t be getting the vaccine and rejects posing a threat to elderly and vulnerable constituents on the campaign trail.


Photo: Craig Kelly, Liberal for Hughes by Stilgherrian is available HERE and is used under a creative commons license. The image has not been modified.