Hopper explains, Hobbs defends

Member for Warrego Howard Hobbs has gone on the record and stated that he has no intention of following Ray Hopper's lead by defecting from the Liberal National Party.

"Ray Hopper is a very good friend of mine and still is," Mr Hobbs said.

"I am very disappointed that he has chosen this path, however, I respect the decision that he's made."

Member for Condamine, Ray Hopper MP, resigned from the LNP in a shock defection late last Saturday night, attracting a barrage of vitriolic outbursts from former party colleagues.

Local Government minister David Crisafulli said Hopper was "bitter and twisted" and "has now been to more parties than Paris Hilton".

Mr Hobbs has gone to Hopper's defence, rejecting the accusations. "No. He's not [bitter and twisted], he's a very committed person and he certainly believes in his constituency, and wants to get a result."

Mr Hopper has been accused by his former colleagues of failing to uphold the mandate for the policies he backed as an LNP candidate at the last election, but Hopper said this is not the case.

"I was elected to represent the people of Condamine the best way I can, you have to swear the oath to serve your electorate to the best of your ability," he said.

"It's not my fault - the LNP haven't kept their promises, it's not the party I stood for at the election.

"They've taken the national out of the Liberal National Party - they've broken their promises, we've had 8 months to put legislation in place to stop CSG getting out of control."

Mr Hopper said his move to Katter's Australian Party is supported by members of his electorate as he will now have more power to serve their interests.

"I'm now in a position where I can put private members bills forward; I was in the backbench, mouth zipped, I won't be a tin soldier," he said.

"I see it [KAP] more as the old country party, and the thing I like is we have an electorate first policy - we can cross the floor on any issue based on what's best for our electorate, which as it gets more members will become very important."

Mr Hopper's move has been applauded by mining magnate Clive Palmer.

"Ray Hopper is a true leader who respects others, listens to his electorate and stands as a true beacon of integrity," Mr Palmer said.

Topics:  condamine, howard, katter's australian party, liberal party, ray hopper



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