Mining magnate Clive Palmer has voluntarily deregistered his United Australia Party, rendering his sole senator, Ralph Babet, an independent on the crossbench, with the news of the party’s demise catching the politician by surprise.
Babet, dubbed Palmer’s “$100 million man” for being the sole beneficiary of the mining magnate’s federal election campaign, was seemingly unaware the party had been deregistered when contacted by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on Friday.
“Where are you seeing that? No, it has not been voluntarily deregistered,” the senator said in response to inquiries by this masthead.
A notice published by the Australian Electoral Commission said the UAP was “registered on 12 December 2018 and deregistered on 8…